“To accepted into. Most Americans can agree that a

“To be or not to be free”: College Education Let’s face it, a college education isn’t free, it’s not a right either. Greek philosopher, Seneca noted that the traditional style of education as “liberal.” The word it derives from is “liberalis”, which is connected to freedom (Nussbaum 2002), which brings me to my next point.  It’s a freedom and a privilege to be able to apply and then attend whatever college one is accepted into. Most Americans can agree that a college education is stressful enough without slapping a $20,000
price tag on it, and for out of state students attending a college that
rate is about 2x that, making it go up to $50,000 dollars. Some students have to pull out student loans, some parents have to pull out student loans, sometimes scholarships aren’t enough, or you don’t receive enough money, and not everyone’s parents are in the military to where they will be able to receive the 9/11- GI Bill.  There are many points brought up when talking about college educations, here are some main ones. “What necessary things will my money being spent on?”, “Why is it so expensive?”, “Am I honestly going to receive a quality learning experience for the amount of money I will be paying?” All
of these are valid questions that any student or parent will have
because money, it is a lifeline in this capitalist system. But, the
question is, should a college education be free, or at least the tuition
rates lowered to be more affordable?  The nature of this debate could be seen as both social and moral. It could be seen as moral because on one side it can pull at the heart stings of lawmakers or just Americans in general. You have cases where students or parents pull out student loans, and that adds unnecessary stress and worry on the parties involved because they know, that by the time they graduate, they are going to graduate with loads of student debt. Then on the other hand it can be seen as social because anyone that is more well off, the parties involved in these situations are more worried about where their college dollars are going towards or what will they be receiving on top of their learning experience as result of their tuition and other fees that go along with that.  This is especially relevant to
Kentucky residents, and University of Kentucky students in particular.
Because it is such a famous college, the school has to keep up an image.
With that image, renovations
are made, new uniforms (mostly the football and basketball team) are
purchased, certain buildings get upgrades, new dorms are built, on the
other side, older dorms have problems on the inside, older buildings and
classrooms have problems on the inside, meal plans are not worth the
price, and certain technologies have not been updated. A student I interveiwed,
felt the same way. I asked her about the housing process at the
University of Kentucky, she “feels frustrated because she already ha
to pay for housing, then on top of that, sometime later they make you
pay an $150 housing fee. Where is all that money going, when most of the
dorms have old washers and dryers that just barely work, the rooms are not updated, and the wifi messes up every now and then.” I can see that frustration especially if you need to do homework and projects. This can be highly frustrating for students and parents alike, that see it as nothing being done with the school as a whole, and only see things being done that make the school “look good”.
I can see why some people want free college because they feel like they
shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to see the school look
better and not the education system, but then I see why some would
disagree for a free college education because of the fact that there are resources on campus that would cost a fee, whereas your tuition pays for that, so that some services you receive on campus will be free.  If I were to take a philosophical position on this, I would have to go with Paulo Freire on education and community involvement ….”considerations and analyses of the relationships between community involvement and educational practice start with a critical understanding of both.”  I believe that if that if high tuition rates really are an issue or a problem (which I agree it is), then the Kentucky community as whole will speak out about it. Because if someone is honestly so fed up, the community will, if they want to see something happen, speak up about it.  Now, someone who may disagree
would counter my argument with the fact that just speaking up about it
is not enough. The Kentucky college community is large and a statistic
form the University of Kentucky states that …”90 percent are private partners and donors”. With that knowledge
in mind, you would have to be reminded that the ultimate goal with
prestigious colleges and universities is to make money and keep up a
good image. It may take
months, even years to see a change in the way tuition rates are. You
have to ask yourself, how much time is the other 9% of the Kentucky
college community is willing to possibly waste, for nothing to happen? And my counter to that argument is that most citizens in America in the 21st century will do whatever it takes to see change. The same can be said for
fighting for a lowered tuition rate or free college. I mean, you
already have to pay taxes, pay for a place to live, pay for some form of
transportation
to get you to where you need to go and/or work, hospital bills alone
could possibly put someone in debt if they can’t afford insurance, or
the insurance they have doesn’t cover certain procedures or
prescriptions. Why not be able to receive a free education?  I’m going to go out on a limb and quote philosopher John Stuart Mill’s “Greatest Happiness Principle”, “always ensure the greatest happiness for the greatest number.” I quote that because it only takes on spark to start a fire, I believe that one or two people are willing to go through months even years to see the change that they so desperately need and want to see for themselves and the 9% of the community that aren’t donors and private partners that already pretty well off.  To answer whether a college education should be free or not is difficult. You don’t know what it may or may not do to the economy. Personally, I believe,
if a free college education can’t be achieved in any way, shape, form,
or fashion, then thee should be an alternative to the tuition fee.
Maybe in the future it can be possible to have strictly work-study type
tuitions where, the student has to work in some form on the campus and
the school pays half of the tuition, that would be starting somewhere
that could lead to a possibility of a free college education.  That could certainly put America in a new direction if we start off with lowered tuition rates across the country, that will eventually turn into free tuition rates across the country. Now, personally, I believe that college tuition is not that bug of an issue, but like I say again, that one spark could start something around the world to the point where maybe, we could be a free country.