By Tierra Jackson

During Committee One, Ramya Nambala, of Vista Ridge High School, 9, presented a bill declaring free public college, resulting in its acceptance. Delegate Nambala researched the bill using economical research. The bill was passed 3-4.

Nambala believed that by making public colleges free that it would give all Texans a new opportunity to be able to attend college no matter their economic background.

Tuition in public colleges has steadily risen over time; in the course of 33 year’s, tuition has risen almost $10,000, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Additionally, the amount in student loans has grown proportionally. Between 1992 and 2012, the amount owed by a student with a bachelor’s degree doubled, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Nambala argued that by making public colleges in Texas free, it will gradually motivate students and even undergraduates to pursue their college dream.

“If other countries such as Norway, Finland and Iceland all have free public college, that the state of Texas should agree to act in favor of the bill also,” Nambala said.

Opponents of Nambala’s bill argued that free college would further tax middle and upper-class citizens.