Free Higher Education
This specific topic is very hard to have an argument about, and in order to pursue a higher education, it should be free of tuition/fees. Nowadays, to qualify in most jobs you need to have a useful education and specific qualifications for such job. Employers don’t hire appearances, they hire accomplishments. The cost of a college education has spiraled out of control and no one knows how to fix it. Free tuition gives students the opportunity to focus more on their futures rather than finding ways to pay tuition, gives underprivileged families a chance to succeed, and allow graduates to contribute more to the economy.
Majority of students have jobs so they can help pay for things like bills but mainly to help with school. They face a daily struggle of not only having to pay bills, but trying to also pay for school. College itself is ridiculously expensive, but adding on hundreds of dollars each semester just to pay for books is hard on those who can’t afford it, especially if the student is paying out-of-state tuition. Free tuition would only cover the direct costs of attending college and not the total cost, leaving many low-income students with substantial bills to pay—living expenses, books, computers, transportation, child care, and other fees—that are baked into colleges’ Cost of Attendance (and which also help determine how much students can borrow). Making tuition free wouldn’t make college debt-free, and without substantial need-based aid, low-income students would still face high net costs. (“Five Reasons Why Debt-Free College Helps More than Just the Upper-Middle Class,” n.d.). In 1974, the average American family earned just under $13,000 a year. A new home was around the cost of $36,000, and an average new car was $4,400. Attending a four-year college was a bargain at $510 a year. It was extremely affordable, even to the average family (“Is College Tuition Really Too High?” 2015, September 08). With free tuition, it will also help students concentrate more on their work, rather than having to worry about how to pay.
Giving Underprivileged Families a Chance
There are so many students who work their butts off in high school, but get no chances to farther the goals because they can’t afford it. Just because the lack of money is the main issue, it should never stop a student from obtaining their goals. By students not affording to go to school, they are having their envisions shattered, which is totally wrong in so many ways if the main issue is one factor. Even if you get a loan, the rates of them get overwhelming and can become unaffordable. Free tuition would allow underprivileged students to work hard for the possibility of a successful career. The net price of college — after financial aid and discounts are subtracted — is rising much faster for lower-income students than for their higher-income counterparts. One reason for the increase in merit-based rather than need-based scholarships, a system that disproportionately benefits higher-income students with college-educated parents as states and colleges try to keep those students from going elsewhere. Studies have shown many of those affluent students who receive merit aid are not actually high achievers. (“Low-income students struggle to pay for college, even in a state that still provides help,” 2015, August 18). Unfortunately, we have allowed billions in public resources—from student aid to veteran’s benefits—to be used at private and for-profit institutions, many of whom either do not need the extra resources or do not provide much in the way of quality. Debt-free college could be paid for in an efficient, and yes, progressive fashion. (“Five Reasons Why Debt-Free College Helps More than Just the Upper-Middle Class,” n.d.).
The most successful and efficient programs in colleges have trouble achieving graduation rates of more than 50 percent. A big problem for this has to do with the advertisement of college degrees to families who never went to college. They need to know that unemployment for college graduates is about 4 percent, compared with about 9 percent for those with only high-school educations. (“America Needs More College Graduates In Order To Improve The Economy,” 2012, April 29). Students with a two-year degree earn almost one-third more a year on average, and if they manage to get a four-year degree, their lifetime earnings will be about $1 million higher than if they only finish high school (“Are College Degrees Inherited?,” 2014, April 11). There are lots of reasons students don’t finish college, most of which have to do with money and family issues. The biggest problem is that a certain percentage headed for college graduate from high school without basic reading, writing and math skills. According to Education Department research, the rigor of a high school’s academic program is a better predictor of college graduation than race, family income or level of parent education. (“America Needs More College Graduates In Order To Improve The Economy,” 2012, April 29). The advantage of getting a college degree has benefits throughout a person’s entire lifetime. College graduates make more money in their work careers than those who either drop out or never attend. Nearly every study has shown that getting a college degree is one of the very best investments one can make in a lifetime. College graduates also contribute more and take less from society. During their lifetime they pay more taxes, enjoy better health, are less likely to be involved in criminal activity, and are more likely to volunteer in their communities and to vote. (“Higher education benefits students, society,” n.d.).
By making college free, people who can’t afford to go would be able to go. If you can succeed and pass classes in college, then you should be allowed to do just that regardless of how much money you and your family make. Overall, making college tuition free would save the stress of those who cannot afford it and add so many other advantages. It helps the economy, and college debt would be much lower. We will have a stronger society where all young and future generations will have the ambition and the talent to reach their full potential, with proper training regardless of their financial situations. Just within the past few years, the debate about if college should be free has brought us all to consider what higher education is for.