College has gotten so expensive and loans have such high interest rates that we now have over $1 trillion in debt hanging over our heads. Tulsa, Oklahoma may have found a way to reduce that burden by implementing a program that lets some students go to college for absolutely nothing.
Tulsa Achieves provides any student who wants to go to college with a tuition free education right after high school. They have to meet certain criteria such as scoring a 2.0 or higher GPA when they pick up their high school diploma and committing to at least one year of school immediately after their final year of high school. If they can achieve those goals, they then get to earn an Associates degree from a community college at no cost to them. If they want to get a bachelor’s degree, they’ll have to find the money to finish out their studies but this will cut their overall student loan debt in half if they need to borrow money to finish school.
So far, the program has been pretty successful. They’ve given out degrees to approximately 10,000 students, most of whom would only have a high school diploma in hand to help them get a job. It also has a fairly successful turnover rate as one in eight kids who join the program actually finish it with a degree. They don’t just pay for tuition and textbooks. They also make sure that students get extra help with tutoring and time management to teach them how to study, take notes and prepare for tests as they seek their degree.
Every state in the union should have a program like this. We’re for anything that sticks it to student loan companies.