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Sep 29, 2016 10:07 AM EDT

Clinton's Debt-Free College Plan Can Jeopardize National Defense


One of Hillary Clinton's policy plans on education if she wins the presidential race is to make college debt-free or affordable. As much as it sounds music to the ears, there are some concerns raised about the issue, one of which is its impact on national defense.

Some people think that a debt-free college can jeopardize the country's national defense. One argument presented by Benjamin Luxemberg saying that it can decrease the marginal benefit of various educational aide programs for the military, such as the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, the Yellow Ribbon program, and ROTC scholarships.

The Post 9/11 G.I Bill provides up to $20,000 tuition per year for those in the military service while the Yellow Ribbon program provides tuition for those who have already served. Then, there are the ROTC scholarships, which gives tuition aid to aspiring officers. These college assistance programs from the military are some of the reasons why a lot of people enlist for military service. Not only it is the surest way to earn a college degree, but a majority of people believes that military service is also the path to middle class.

A Pew Research Survey conducted in 2011 revealed that 75 percent of those who signed up for military service said that they did for the education benefits the military provides. That was a 20 percent surge compared ti the pre-9/11 survey which is 55 percent. Another poll made by the Washington Post in 2014 revealed that 48 percent of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were utilizing the G.I Bill and 59 percent of that demographic are females.

With that said, it is clear that education has become a critical factor in the military's success to recruit and if that advantage is taken away because of Clinton's policy can decrease the numbers. If that happens, the military will lack new personnel and, eventually, that lack can also affect the national defense.

Making college more affordable and accessible is a magnanimous move. However, Clinton should give it serious thought and consider the negative impacts it has not only in the military but other sectors of the government and society.

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