Seeing how the tuition fees are quickly escalating and have now reached the point of being the most expensive seen in history, there are plenty of reasons why college tuition should be free. Researchers say that the fees have increased by more than 1122% since 1978, which is an even higher percentage than the increase in medical care, food and housing. This makes the problems with college tuition so obvious and concerning, that the subject of making college free has become one of the most popular topics of today.
As with any other important topic, there are also many arguments against free college tuition. People have extremely passionate opinions regarding this matter and the fact is, this particular question needs much more than a simple yes or no decision. Therefore, I am about to present an unbiased, open-minded exploration of both the advantages and disadvantages of making college free.
When speaking of college education, we are speaking of the future of the world. As Ben Franklin once said: ‘An investment in future pays the best interest’. But the question here is – does the investment have to include money or should students only be asked to invest dedication and effort? There are many pros and cons of this option. Among these, I decided to oppose 3 reasons why college should be free and 3 reasons why college should not be free.
The first and at the same time the biggest advantage of making college free is the equality among people. Proponents of this idea consider this change to be more than just an economic movement since if people can educate themselves for free, more people would be able to attain the desired credentials. At the moment, college is a luxury that many cannot afford, which leads to unequal options and unfair educational system. If education were free, people who deserve it but cannot afford it will also be able to advance on an educational level.
The second reason why college should be free is brought up because of the college tuition costs. Back in history, there was a time when people could attend college for free. It was the Morrill Act of 1862 that enabled education to Americans of every social class with the main aim to promote the liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions in life. However, as the interest for education was growing due to increased work opportunities, so did the cost of attending colleges. According to statistics of 2015, student loan debt in the US was estimated to be over $1.3 trillion. This makes the average college tuition to have an increase of over 39% higher than four years before the research was conducted.
The third reason why college should be free is the argument for the benefit of the world’s advancement. According to this opinion, the more people are given a shot at free education, the bigger will the chances of innovations and improvements be. In this way, people will have the freedom to learn and pursue their talents, which would result in a smarter decision-making society.
As there are arguments for, there are also arguments against free college tuition. The opponents of this idea list the main disadvantage to be closely related to the cost of the tuition. As college tuition is expensive for students, so it would be for the government. The opponents actually say that the college tuition increase is a result of the costs of the education of students, which would seriously harm the economy if the education were to become free.
If students are free of paying for their education, the taxes would increase greatly and people would suffer, too. The budget of the state could become extremely strained, especially since the number of students would increase greatly.
The second point against free tuition is the idea that students see education as extremely important exactly because it is paid. If education were free, students are likely to take their college education less seriously, which would result in a drop in graduation numbers.
Opponents of the idea also claim that with college becoming free, the number of students would increase so greatly that the value of the degrees could drop. Additionally, the increased number of students may lead to decreased access to the current programs students attend, which could make people not as prepared for work as they are at the moment.
Still, is the number of students really as big of a problem when it comes to college tuition? Many students are limited from attending college because of the grand fees that come with it, even with the loans the state gives. Even if a student decides to take a loan, they are not guaranteed a job after college that would pay for the loan and are risking their entire future by opting for this decision. Sure, education is important and should carry some efforts, but is the state really unable to make college tuition free because the number of students would increase and the value of it would drop?
Making tuition free may not be a completely doable thing, but the government could do something to pay at least the bigger part of the college tuition. They could increase the tax rates for the wealthiest, crack down on some government spending, implement new taxes and divert the public money that currently spent on student financial aid. Furthermore, the risk of colleges being over flooded with students should not be an issue if colleges accept students on the basis of credentials, tests and number limitations. In this way, students who deserved college education but cannot pay it at the moment would still be able to get proper education and succeed, while the number of graduations would still remain at least as high as it is at the moment.
The truth is, advantages of free college tuition are more numerous than the disadvantages. Additionally, most of the disadvantages the proponents introduce do not really stand. The free college tuition idea could be implemented if an equilibrium between both the pros and cons is done and the solution lies somewhere in the middle.