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free college

Photo by Leon Wu on Unsplash

Graduation is easier to celebrate when you're debt-free.

Taking on college-related debt is something that most Americans now expect when graduating high school, especially if their parents are middle class or working poor. There are only so many scholarships to go around and so much you can earn from work study. In fact, the average millennial has just under $40,000 in student loan debt and Americans owe around $1.7 trillion in student loans. Taking on large amounts of debt fresh out of high school has become the norm, but that may be changing soon.

Some states are already offering two free years of college for graduating high school students, and now the 30th state is ready to sign on to do the same. Some states are taking it further than two years of free college and extending it to four years with the option to use the program for trade and technical schools as well. In New Mexico, the Opportunity Scholarship provides free college to its residents and expands that even further to include adult learners, returning students and immigrants regardless of immigration status. That last provision is unheard of, because, contrary to popular belief, undocumented immigrants are not typically able to participate in any sort of government funding or programs due to their lack of social security number and other documentation needed for participation.

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