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Why Not Have Free Education
Not everyone has the opportunity to pursue a higher education after they graduate from high school. In fact, as of 2010, “68.1 percent of 2010 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities (“College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2010 High School Graduates” 1).” This number may seem a bit high to some people, however, it is not, considering that not all of those students are able to stay in college long enough to graduate due to various financial difficulties. A large number of the other 31.9 percent of the students who do not enroll in college usually do so because many of them cannot afford the tuition at a 4-year university. A solution to this increase in college dropouts and students who fail to attend college at all would be for the state governments to fund the college tuition for those students who wish to attend a university. It is my belief that a student’s college tuition should be completely funded by the state government because it would increase the number of people who enroll in a 4-year university, decrease the amount of violence that takes place and increase the number of prospective workers in top fields that require their employees to have earned a college degree of some kind. While the government may need to increase their funding resources to pay for every student’s college tuition, it will pay off in the long run for both the student and for the government as well.
College is not on the mind of every student getting ready to graduate high school for various reasons. One of these reasons is that it is out of their families’ expense budget. If someone were to inform these same students that their entire college education would be paid for by the state government, then nearly every one of them would reconsider their decision to not attend college and indeed apply and enroll in the university that they wish to go to achieve a degree of some kind. According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, “The cost of attending college has risen nearly three times the rate of the cost of living, and could eventually put higher education out of reach for most Americans (“Rising cost could push college out of reach” 1).” This further ensures that one of the main problems why students do not attend college is due to financial burdens. Another startling fact is that, “On average, students from working and poor families must pay 40 percent of family income to enroll in public four-year colleges while students from middle-income families and upper-income families must pay 25 percent and 13 percent of family income, respectively (“Rising cost could push college out of reach” 1).” However, if the government was to fund the tuition of these students, then colleges would immediately become more impacted than ever. This would be a good problem to have because the more students that attend a 4-year university means that the more likely that school will produce even more students with degrees.
According to the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, “45 percent of students who drop out of college for financial reasons are involved in at least one police record incident after they stop attending school (5).” This statistic should be alarming to us because it clearly shows that being forced to drop out of school can cause a lot of students to become extremely angry and hostile towards anyone that they come in contact with. There are many psychological factors that play a major role in this violence outbreak, but they all come from the disappointment of not being able to get a degree from a university just because they cannot afford to do so financially. Usually, when students drop out of school, rather it is high school or college; they either stay at home doing nothing, or go out and get a job. All of the former students who choose to stay at home are opening themselves up to potential outside distractions and negative influences from various friends and family members or even from strangers in their neighborhoods. The more free time that someone has on their hands, the more at risk they are to be persuaded into bad situations. These bad situations usually involve making fast money. For a college dropout, the original plan is to go to college in order to earn their degree in a particular field so that they could eventually get a job making a lot of money. However, because these same former students are unable to earn their degree, they could decide to make money as quick and easy as they see fit. This could very well involve drug dealing or some other kind of illegal scheme of money making. Thus, these illegal forms of making money usually involve some type of violent acts and most of the time leads to the incarceration of the involved people.
Finally, the number of employees required to have a college degree at their perspective job will significantly increase with the government funding the college tuition of students. This is true because if more students enroll in a university, then the more likely that school is to produce a student with a degree. Currently, not too many Americans possess a college degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “52.7 percent of Americans have some college education, but only 27.2 percent have actually obtained a degree, and while 27 percent may seem like a small percentage, the numbers get even smaller when talking about higher education with only 8.9 percent of Americans having a Masters' Degree and only 3 percent having earned a PhD (Henry 3).” While many people may be amazed at these statistics, a person with detailed knowledge of the financial situation of many Americans should not be. It is difficult to earn a college degree if a person cannot pay the necessary tuition fees it costs in order to take the required classes for that particular degree.
On the other hand, government funding of college tuition would drastically increase the number of people with college degrees because the pool of students to choose from would greatly increase if they didn’t have to come out of their own pockets to pay for their college education. By increasing the number of students with college degrees, we would be adding to the number of highly skilled professional workers in this country. This would in turn cause companies to function more smoothly because they would have all of the qualified employees they would need in order to operate at an even more high and successful level than they had been before. The market demands a large number of college graduates every year. However, with the number of college graduates decreasing due to financial shortcomings, the job market will be forced to choose from a limited supply of qualified workers with college degrees, thus causing many companies to lower their requirements for hiring employees, which will in turn lower company performance. As stated by the Chronicle of Higher Education, “There could be 3 million fewer college graduates than the market demands by the year 2018 which explain that America needs more workers with college degrees. If we don’t address this need now, then millions of jobs will be lost and go offshore to other countries (Sewall 8).” If the top businesses here in America would go offshore to other countries, then everyone in this country would be negatively affected because that company would have been responsible for creating a lot of revenue and job opportunities for the country as a whole.
The government’s willingness to pay for the entire college tuition of a student will indeed create positive benefits for both the government and the country, even though it may call for an increased role in fundraising activities on the part of the various state governments. It is evident that so many students cannot afford to pay for college tuition on their own. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have thousands of extra dollars laying around for their use. Too many negative effects are open to come into existence with an increased number of college drop outs or high school students who fail to go to college in the first place. The violence rate will go up in addition to a decreased number of qualified workers for businesses to choose from. What is evident is that a college degree can go a long way to benefiting that individual as well as benefiting the company that eventually hires that student. This country is supposed to be a land of opportunities. Where is the opportunity at if someone simply isn’t wealthy enough to pay for a college degree? Everyone should be granted equal opportunities to achieve a higher education if that is in their plans. However, the system is stopping many of them from doing so and it needs to be changed immediately. If the government begins to fund the college tuition of these perspective future college graduates, then a chain reaction or domino effect of beneficial outcomes will be felt by this country and society as a whole.
“College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2010 High School Graduates”. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 April 2011. Web. 27 Nov 2011.
Henry, Tamara. “Report: Greater percentage of American Education”. USA TODAY. 5 June 2002. Web. 29 Nov 2011.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Nov 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2011
“Rising cost could push college out of reach”. CNN Living. 3 Dec. 2008. Web. 27 Nov 2011.
Sewall, Michael. “Number of Workers with College Degrees Could Fall Short of Demand by 2018”. The Chronicle of Higher Educa