Funding Higher Education
Keep Calm… College tuition is Free! Education is seen as the gateway to expand your chances of earning more money. College is now more expensive than it has ever been. It is out of reach of not only poor Americans, but even middle-class ones. The United States should offer higher education for all. There is a great effort to close the college attendance gap between high school graduates from the wealthiest families who can continue their education in comparison to the huge amount of the poorer graduates who have smaller numbers of people attending college.
Free education in state schools should be available for all in the United States who plan to attend college, a university or trade school. Making education free would open colleges and universities to a greater number of students; minorities, middle and lower-class to get a good education. Free college education will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get an education. Such accomplishments will result in a more educated society to keep communities successful. A college education has become a necessity in today’s society. Financing each student’s education has become difficult in today’s economy. Many students, teachers, and people wonder if free college tuition should be granted. My goal in this paper is to argue three support claims for free college tuition. The argument is funding higher education for all in the United States would create affordability, develop a qualified work force, and promote social upliftment for the public.
To achieve this goal, my paper is organized in four areas. The first three segments support my claims for free college tuition. The last segment are two counter claims argued on the behalf against free college tuition. First, affordability leads the charge for college attendance. The claim of affordability of a college education plays a major role in post high school education. College affordability is often among the top concerns. In 1785, John Adams wrote: "The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and must be willing to bear the expense of it"(“Should College Be Free?”). In addition, for most of our nation’s history, public colleges and universities have been much more affordable than they are today, with lower tuition, and financial aid to cover most of the cost. When the cost of attending college, university, or trade school is too high, a lot of students simply choose not to pursue a higher education. “Galloping tuition hikes have made attending college more expensive today than at any point in U.S. history” (Ellison).
Throughout America, students are facing the same issue of expensive college tuition. This is causing them to neglect important priorities that we see as a necessity. Lack of money should not stop a student from completing their education. It should not stop their dream to become whatever they want to be. Also, if free college tuition was given, many students would be motivated to work harder in high school to get to college. They would be better performing students. Our entire education system can help high school graduates attend the college, university or trade school of their choice. In her article, Goldrick-Rab wrote it’s time for universal public higher education. “Today’s targeted financial aid provides too little to too few” (Goldrick-Rab). Free college tuition is a great option that would not only let college bound students feel comfortable, but also assist them and their current economic situation.
“Soaring tuitions and student loan debt are placing higher education beyond the reach of many American students” (Ellison). Why can’t the government understand, it is time to make college free and accessible to all. Any state that has a dedicated affordable higher education program, is an investment that would pay off economically. At the same time, debt from student loans has become the largest form of personal debt in America. (Ellison) To also help with affordability is to help control student loan debt. This is a step to ensure student loans are not a barrier to going to college. So, leaders must get together to rethink the free college tuition debate. The bottom line is “college should not just be debt free—it should be free, period” (Ellison).
Meanwhile, only students from wealthier families would have access to the best learning opportunities. Once again, they would be better prepared for the job market. The students from poorer families will have a hard time finding good employment, let alone attain the American dream.
“While in the United States we debate over free tuition, many other advanced countries offer free tuition” (NEA). These countries include Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Mexico, and Brazil. Even Canada offers free higher education that maintain top quality public institutions and serve a larger population. If these countries can offer and grant free college tuition, the United States can surely do the same. Otherwise, our potential intelligent and hardworking students will miss out on an education from institutions due to lack of finances. “It would allow more to attain degrees because the biggest reason why students drop out of college is that they cannot afford the high cost” (Samuels 121). The society will grow less from an unqualified workforce. A qualified workforce will be developed when graduates can attend free college and become contributing citizens.
Next, I think free college tuition should be given because the government would be investing their money for a worthy cause. The government would not be wasting their money but spending it for our future. The worthy cause to our future is a qualified workforce. The money to fund education would help educate citizens. In fact, most students would finish their college education without debt. Many people will have more chances to get into school and have their education paid for to become doctors, lawyers, nurses, and many other professions of their choice. Certainly, the money invested in college tuition would have many positive impacts making our country an even better place to live. The education received by these citizens will be beneficial because our country will have many intelligent, knowledgeable workers. “Without college-level learning, American workers simply won’t have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy” (McKiernon).
Free college tuition should be given to students because it will assist students to concentrate on their studies. Most college students usually have part-time jobs and carry a full schedule. They must rely both on their job and studies to be able to pay for all necessary materials to remain a current student. “The bright young people who currently skip college because they can’t afford it would have the opportunity to get a degree and get better jobs”
(Josephson). Working and attending school may take away time from their academics. Working long hours take away time from completing college in the traditional four years. When a student does not complete in the four years, the workforce must wait for more qualified prospective employees. Graduates are not the only ones who profit from college. The nation and individual communities “that offer free education benefit from a more skilled and educated workforce and the social mobility inherent within it” (Christ). After all, more and more of today's jobs are knowledge-based or require advanced technical skills. So, “a better-educated workforce would help fill many of the skills gaps that prevent America's economy from growing faster” (“Should College Be Free?”). In my view, eeducation is critical for personal and a society’s growth. “We live in a highly competitive, global economy, and if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated workforce in the world” (Sanders). When college graduates can contribute to their communities and enjoy a rewarding career, this leads to social upliftment for these individuals.
Finally, a free college education creates a societal and personal upliftment for the graduates. I believe free college tuition should be given because there are students from less fortunate families that work hard in school and deserve the opportunity for a college education. Some students who get exceptional grades in school do not have enough money to continue their education. They spend so much time and effort on school work that they earned the right to acquire free college tuition. “A college degree increases lifetime earnings substantially — by about $1,000,000 — and provides better and more employment opportunities” (Christ).
One of the most important benefits of education is how it improves personal lives and helps societies run smoothly. “We live longer, fuller, and happier lives as learned and knowledgeable individuals” (Yehuda). Organizations like Economic Cooperation and Development wrote, educated people are more actively involved in various societal activities such as voting, volunteering, political interest and interpersonal trust. (Yehuda) Once citizens are able to give and feel good about it, means a lot in a society and to a person. After spending many years learning, people tend to feel happier and more content as they lead educated lives. Overall, education promotes fulfilling, fuller lifestyles. As several recent studies have underscored, “a college degree is a pathway to a more stable life, financially and otherwise, even for students who struggled in high school” (Page & Clawson).
There is overwhelming support that educational achievement correlates directly with an increased quality of life. Therefore, it is an injustice to humanity to deny or obstruct any person from the pursuit of an education. To the contrary, there are many people in society who disagrees with free college tuition. I will discuss two of those counterclaims that speaks to degrading the worth of a degree and increasing in taxes on the tax payer.
In argument, making higher education free will be expensive. “The objections to free college education are concerned that lowering the cost of higher education will lower its quality” (Freedman). If an undergraduate education is free, they argue, there will be a horde of idle students who can stay in school forever and never get a degree. Free college may cause some students to abuse the system and not be dedicated to completing in four years. “If college becomes free for students, colleges will attract more young people who are not suited for college” (Leubke). With free tuition many predict the abuse of withdrawing from classes. Because you pay for college now, you will do your best to pass all your classes. A student who has no responsibility to finance his education, is not concerned about cost. He does not have the financial incentive to finish what he started because it is not held against him. Other critics of the free college idea argue that “it would lead to a flood of graduates with mediocre credentials all competing for a limited number of jobs” (Josephson). Then, these critics argue, committed workers would have to pursue a graduate degree to stand out from the crowd. This would cost money, as well as challenge the worth of their degree.
The second counter claim argued making education free would mean the money has to be found from elsewhere. “Public education is funded primarily by property tax, so taxes will go up” (Norton). Someone has to pay for education. The only options available to the government would be to raise taxes or cut services elsewhere. In a country, there are certain things should be guaranteed to all Americans, poor or rich. It is physically impossible to deliver quality education while charging students nothing. The taxpayers already pay for the substantial grants and scholarships awarded to students every year, so students can hold their own. (Norton) This burden should not be placed on the general population when the decision to attend college rests on the individual’s shoulders.
In conclusion, as I have argued, free college tuition should be provided and funded by the U.S. government. Clearly, we all know education is a very important factor in our country. From research I agree that all students should be eligible to receive free college tuition for a variety of reasons. Indeed, free college tuition will have many positive outcomes on our student’s productivity and help with financing the four years of college. The outcome and productivity result creating our future leaders, doctors, and other employed citizens who will make our country an even better place to live. This is a plan that should be instituted throughout our cities in the United States. Without a doubt, it would be an unmatched decision that would give many opportunities to millions of our outstanding striving students! Free higher education would also get rid of stumbling blocks that deter students from attending. Free college would allow more students from all backgrounds to be able to attend college if they want. The country we live in is also the wealthiest in the history of the world. We can afford to make college an option for every American family. Finally, a modern country like ours need highly skilled graduates of all kinds. If we do not have an education, we will not get a good job. If we do not get a job, we will not earn enough money, if we do not earn money, we will not be able to have a great future. Therefore, college should be free to all qualified students because a modern country needs highly skilled graduates.
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