Education causes 50% or more of the growth in the economy. Higher education contributes almost half of that (Leslie, Larry L., and Paul T. Brinkman. The Economic Value of Higher Education. NY: Macmillan, 1988. p. 82). Higher education is not an expense, it is a high-yielding investment which makes a much better economy possible. Instead of financing higher education on students' backs, and losing half the potential because many people cannot afford to go to college, we should make it free, and wipe out all student debt.
Why is this important?
As a professor, I have seen many brilliant students who could not go to college because of the expense. This is damaging our country and our state. What if Einstein could not have afforded college? How many opportunities are we missing? We are cutting our own economic throats by not making HE free.