Funding Higher Education
Keep calm … and go to college for free! Education is seen as the gateway to a successful career. Yet, college is now more expensive than it has ever been.
According to College Board, the average cost for one year of college ranges from $25,000 for a public, in-state college, to $51,000 for a private college. The price tag is out of reach not only to poor Americans, but even to middle and upper-middle class students. The United States should offer free higher education for all in order to close the attendance gap between high school graduates from both wealthy and poor families – and to decrease the crippling student loans that many college grads carry into adulthood. State schools should offer free tuition. Period.
Making higher education free would provide opportunities to all students, regardless of their socio-economic level. It would ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get a higher degree – something that has become a necessity in today’s society and will keep communities thriving. Funding higher education for all in the United States would create affordability, develop a qualified work force, and promote social advancement for all members of the public. First, affordability leads the charge for college attendance. Funding is one of the top concerns of prospective college students. 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.
” In addition, for most of our nation’s history, public colleges and universities have been much more affordable than they are today. When the cost of attending college, university, or trade school is too high, numerous students simply choose not to attend. Lack of money should not stop a student from completing their education. It should not stop their dream of pursuing whatever they want to be. If free college tuition was provided, many students would be motivated to work harder in high school in order to be accepted to a college.
Often, if a high school student knows that they can’t afford college anyway, they might as well not even try. Free tuition would enourage them to be better performing students. Why can’t state governments understand that providing a free college education is an investment that would pay off economically in the future? College graduates will join the workforce, be productive members of society, and have the money to spend later which keeps the economy strong. “A college degree increases lifetime earnings substantially – by about $1,000,000 – and provides better and more employment opportunities,” claims Carol Christ in her article, “Higher Education: Should College Be Free for All?”.Unfortunately, debt from student loans has become the largest form of personal debt in America today. Many other advanced countries in the world offer free tuition including Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada.
If these countries can grant free college tuition, the United States can surely do the same. Otherwise, intelligent and hardworking students will miss out on an education from institutions due to lack of finances. Our society will not thrive if it has an unqualified workforce. Graduates are not the only ones who profit from college education. The entire nation and its individual communities “benefit from a more skilled and educated workforce and the social mobility inherent within it,” writes 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,” she adds. Bernie Sanders, ex-presidential candidate and advocate of free college agrees. “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 claims. One of the most important benefits of education is how it improves personal lives and helps societies run smoothly. Organizations like the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaborative and the Economic Cooperation and Development Organization claim that we live longer, fuller, and happier lives as learned and knowledgeable individuals. In addition,educated people are more actively involved in various societal activities such as voting, volunteering, political interest and interpersonal trust.
Overall, education promotes fulfilling, high-quality lifestyles. A recent study by the National Education Association underscored that “a college degree is a pathway to a more stable life, financially and otherwise, even for students who struggled in high school.” In argument, making college free will be expensive, and opposers argue that it will lower the quality of the education as well. 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 it in four years.
People also argue that free college will attract more young people who are not suited for college. With free tuition many predict the abuse of withdrawing from classes or not taking them seriously. 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, does not have the financial incentive to finish what he started. In her article “The Pros and Cons of Free College,” Amelia Josephson argues that “it would lead to a flood of graduates with mediocre credentials all competing for a limited number of jobs.”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. Someone has to pay for college, so where would the money come from? Because public education is funded primarily by property taxes, either taxes will go up or the goverment will cut services elsewhere. Studying how other countries balance this issue would be important, but it can be done. Education is a very important factor in the success of our country and its citizens. Free college tuition would give new opportunities to millions of students.
It would remove the biggest stumbling block that prevents students from persuing a degree and would help balance college attendance by students from all socio-economic backgrounds. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world. We can afford to make college an option for every American family. It is an investment that will result in a skilled workforce and a more active, fulfilled society.