Should College Be Free? – Pros and Cons
October 24, 2019
Why college should be free? It seems like a simple question, yet it has a complicated answer. Most presidential candidates are concerned about the increasing debt of the students. Some students can’t go to college because they just can’t afford to pay for it. Most of them are trying to find ways on how to go to college for free. This is why the cost of a college education is used by political candidates as the basis for their platforms.
Why College Should Be Free?
Generally, attending college is everyone’s dream. However, it seems like a bad dream for families and students. If you are going to college right now, then you are probably thinking about the huge costs of tuition. Or you are considering how are you going to pay back your student loan after you graduate. Should college be free? Before making a decision, we need to consider its pros and cons.
The Pros of Free College Tuition
Here are some of the advantages on a tuition-free college:
- The debts of college students will be reduced.
If college tuition is free in the US, then students will have lesser loan debts to pay. In countries with free college, students will get a loan for their books and allowances. If students will not be burdened by their loan debt, then they could buy whatever they want after graduating from college. They could buy new houses or cars. They can travel to different places. As a result, they will have a great contribution to the economy.
- Tuition free college can help low-income students to graduate.
Should college tuition be free? One of the major reasons why students drop out of college is because they cannot pay for their tuition. A free college education can help these students to graduate. This can increase the number of college graduates. The rates of drop out students will decrease. Students won’t take a break from school due to money problems. Students can also opt for free college courses online or assignment writing help.
- More students will be able to go to college.
If the huge costs for college education will be eliminated, then more students will have the chance to attend college. As a result, the country will have more well-educated workers. This can contribute to the improvement of the society.
- College students can freely choose whatever major they like.
Most often, students have to choose majors that they consider more practical. This is because they are worried that they have to pay their loans immediately. Sometimes they are also influenced by the decision of their parents. If paying thousands of dollars for college tuition is not an issue anymore, then parents and students can freely choose the major that they like without any worries about the huge payment. If students are enjoying their major, then most likely they will stick with it. Students can also try exploring free online college courses for credit.
The Cons of Free College Classes
Here are some of the reasons why free college is a bad idea.
- Students will never learn how to handle their money.
There are a lot of lessons that students can learn from college. One of the most important lessons is knowing how to budget their money. One of the greatest financial transactions that students will encounter is college loans. To pay them promptly, students must learn how to budget their money. This is an important skill that they can use over and over. For instance, if they want to buy a new house or a new car. If college is free, then they won’t get the chance to experience this. In the future, these students might encounter some problems when purchasing a new house or a new car.
- There must be a means of paying college tuition.
If the US will decide for tuition-free college, then who will pay for its costs? It will come from the taxes. But the problem is, who will be taxed for it? Most probably, it will be those who belong to the upper class and middle class. Or perhaps it will come from huge businesses. Ultimately, someone has to pay for these taxes. The vagueness of who will carry the burden of paying these taxes remains a mystery. Considering how much would free college cost taxpayers can make some people feel anxious.
- There will be an increase in the number of students going to college.
If more students will be enrolling in public schools, then there will an increase in the expenses. There are two ways of solving this problem. The first one is to increase the budget of the public school. Another solution would be to have a waiting list. Since more budget will be needed, then more taxes will be allocated for education. This can affect other expenditures. Likewise, due to the huge number of graduates, there is a tendency that some employees are overqualified in their jobs.
- A college education will not be given more importance.
If college education is offered as free, then this can degrade college degrees. As a result, students will refuse to try harder or do not want to go to school anymore because they feel that it’s not worthy. This is because they are not paying for it. If students are paying for their college, then this can inspire them to finish school immediately so they can minimize their debts. If these students do not possess this financial motivation, then they will just feel lazy.
Why Should College Be Free?
How much would free college cost? It will cost less since students will only have to pay for their books, supplies, rent, and other living expenses. However, if students can acquire free grants for college, then they can use this money for paying their books, and other educational expenses.
The tuition-free college has its pros and cons. But if free college will be approved, what will happen to private institutions? Since these private institutions are relying more on tuition fees, then most probably they will have no other choice but to close down. This can lead to lesser job opportunities for professors.
For students who cannot afford to pay for their tuition fees, they can try searching for free online college courses.
Free College In New York
Middle-class New Yorkers can now enjoy tuition-free college. The Excelsior Scholarship is the first college program that allows middle-class families and individuals to attend college without worrying about the tuition fee. They can choose any two or four-year degree programs in all CUNY and SUNY in New York State. This program started last fall of 2017. Any residents in New York State can qualify as long as they are earning up to $125,000 per year. Students must attend any of the SUNY or CUNY in New York State. These students can either take a two or four-year degree program. They must be able to undertake 30 credits for each year. After they have graduated, they should live and work in New York.
Is College Free In Canada?
Unfortunately, not. The good news is it is very affordable to attend college in Canada. Likewise, students have the option to apply for student loan programs. Some students will choose to take part-time jobs so they can finish their college without worrying about paying their student loan debts. Additionally, some expenses are paid by the government. Scholarships are also offered for graduate studies.
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