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Letter: Making college affordable

Jacqueline Varela
New Castle

I am a junior at Glenwood Springs High School and in my government class we are doing a project about how we would address many issues in our society, especially the ones that we feel are directly affecting our community. I am in a group with five other people and our project is called “Cap the Gap” and we are attempting to resolve the issue of college tuition being too high.

Our name fits the issue because there seems to be a big space between how much financial aid is given to students and the true cost of receiving a higher education. Many states have approached this issue and have come up with various policies, such as North Dakota that capped tuition rate increases at no higher than 2.5 percent.

We took a policy that had already been proposed in Washington that was tackling the high costs of college. Our policy proposes colleges and universities in Colorado to drop their annual tuition cost under 25 percent of the average annual Colorado income of a middle-class family. We also added that the government would offer the colleges and universities grants so that they can fund their costs.

That money would come from increased taxes on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. In 2014, Colorado hauled $76 million from taxes on marijuana and public schools received $2.3 million. If we increased taxes on marijuana, alcohol and tobacco, there would be more money available to the schools and would cover all or most of all the costs. We are asking for support to make our policy known and also insight to improve our approach on this issue.


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