Education is compulsory for every person as it serves as a gateway to a successful and contented life. After completing high school the large amount of tuition fees in the colleges makes it difficult for more than fifty percent of the students to opt for a good career. The cost of tuition fees in colleges at times makes it impossible for the students to continue with their studies, so they enter the work field after completing high school education. Moreover, most students select a college which provides tuition programs free of cost; however, these programs are not up to the students’ caliber. Some students may be very talented and can opt for a better program that could lead them to a profession, and that would enable them to draw a higher salary. However, if they further emphasize on getting education according to their capabilities they would go into debts and purchase high loans to fulfill their requirements of education. At times they would even discontinue further studies because of lack of finance. This is why it is more advisable or helpful for the upcoming generation to be able to attain education that is free of cost and hence motivating them to continue with higher education.
Students face numerous financial problems just because college education is not free or is very expensive. They take loans amounting to thousands of dollars, which is unaffordable to repay after completing their education. According to statistics more than two thirds of the graduates are under pressure of great debts even before they enter the job market. This is all due to their loans they had taken in order to complete their education from a reputed college. Hence if college education would be free they would not be under such pressure. Luckily if a student gets a job which pays so well that they could meet their financial needs as well as pay off their debts; they lead a contented life but at times after graduating if they do not get a job with an appropriate salary then it becomes difficult for students to make both ends meet. Hence the low income makes it difficult for such students to pay off their loans so they choose to pay back a minimum amount to the bank which results in accumulated debt in which interest charges are also added. If college education is made free then these students at such a young age would not have to face such drawbacks in life.
As Dr. Reed expresses that the total cost, of all the students who are enrolled in colleges for either two or four years programs, comes up to thirty three billion dollars approximately, this is only one percent or even less of the federal budget. That means it is affordable by the government; all this can be managed by the government even without increasing the income tax on the public. Once the college education is made free for the students, it will help them in attaining higher education, which would overcome their problems, and provide them employment in alleged companies and be safe from the fear of being shortlisted just because of lack of a required degree. This would make their country a better place to live where people would be free from mental stress and financial crisis. Moreover, the society and even the government would be benefitted for having citizens living a contented life.
Nevertheless, the government should look into this matter seriously and make this area of education free for all who desire and are capable of achieving it.
Many countries of the world impart free education from kindergarten to even university level, such as, Finland, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Ireland. They grant free tuition fees to the candidates who prove that they are qualified and capable to study the program. Offering a free education at the college level has many advantages. Firstly, it is accessible to everyone and there is no difference between the rich and the poor as everyone gets equal opportunity to get educated. Moreover, money should not limit the opportunities of a brilliant mind, for instance a child who is homeless or belongs to a very poor family may have the capability of becoming a leader or an excellent doctor but due to his circumstances he is unable to afford an education for himself.
Secondly, free college education benefits the economy as there are educated people in every field of work which is an attraction for foreign investors and employers. The council of Economic Education shared at their conference held in Kansas City, that student debt tops one trillion dollars and that a third of college students drop out – with debt and without a degree. Nearly a third of the average eighteen to twenty four year olds use their income to repay their debts which mostly consists of the student loans that they borrowed while in college. Hence we have an entire generation that is starting their life already burdened with a large amount of debt however, the job market is very small, and so these youngsters are bound to be moving towards failure and hardships because they start with this disadvantage if college education is not free.
Thirdly, social benefit of free education is that education teaches people to make better choices as they are made more aware of them, for instance choices regarding nutrition, jobs and lifestyles. Therefore for all the people to be able to make better choices for themselves in life they need to have higher education which would open more options for them to choose from.
Many students opt not going to college because they do not want to take up loans on themselves and hence work in the labor sector of the country. Thousands of job in different places, such as Massachusetts, are vacant just because the applicants do not fulfill the requirement of a two year degree course, as stated by the governor’s office. Such students are not eligible for a white collar job; hence they land up into the labor category. Another option students opt for is taking a part time job and even taking up courses along with it. They spend longer years to complete their degree as they spend half time working to earn a living. According to Ms. Cowan’s opinion, free tuition would encourage more students to attend full time courses in their college and graduate on time to join the workforce. This would take less time than the ones studying part time. (Ashburn)
Students qualified from the university are usually a benefit to the society; as such students are more creative and imply productivity in their jobs. Many countries that have high rate of university graduates generate higher levels of growth in novelty and output in the society. Therefore, the government should take up steps in order to subsidize education up to the university level. This would persuade a number of students to join full time education programs in the university and be able to play a significant part in the job market at an early stage.
Some local community colleges offer free tuitions and hence provide more choices for the students after leaving high school. They offer programs that are free of tuition fees but require students to have achieved a high school diploma. Furthermore, the student should be able to sustain at least a C on average throughout the program and also serve for the community during each semester. This way the students do not need to take a loan to study and earn a degree. There are students who can meet the expense of tuition fees due to their sound backgrounds, at times they also opt to study in free colleges to earn a higher degree from a different college.
Community colleges provide free education to all candidates irrespective of their cast, creed, religion and family background. Financial status too is not regarded as a criterion for taking admission; hence it paves the way for a larger group of people from various backgrounds and provides an opportunity to become a part of the community. In this way they can share different views and experiences from their diverse backgrounds during the entire academic session. These community colleges have great support from the government so that the number of skilled labors could increase. These skilled labors fulfill the requirement in various fields. The graduates from these community colleges introduce different skills through their wide range of knowledge. Funding these colleges is a great benefit for the government, as Mac Arthur Blair quotes that the college “tries to twist and turn in every possible way”. The students who are financially unsound remain in the program no matter whatever changes in the tuition fees, so they are provided with special funding to meet these needs. According to her in 2006 nearly eighty percent of the students graduating were given employment in their own or neighboring country, or in the same campus they graduated from. Therefore providing free tuition programs by the colleges would prove to be fruitful.
The population of the graduates from the community college increases providing skills to the work assigned to them - as a result promoting economic growth. This high percentage of graduates adds to the tax revenue of the state as they get higher salary. These skilled workers who have graduated from the community college also help the unskilled labors get a job easily, as they take the jobs at a higher position and the basic level jobs are left for the unskilled people. This helps in increasing the employment rate which adds to the economy
Free education has a great significance on the success of the people. Eighty percent of the people were of the opinion that college diploma was necessary for achievement, in the recent polls of America, but nearly seventy percent of the people think that this education is unaffordable by an average family. Hence they remain far behind in education just because they cannot pay the high fees of college. It has become a crisis for the common people to manage the rising cost with limited funds. Eighty three percent of students studying in public colleges and universities have faced an increase of forty seven percent in the tuition fees during the last ten year period which ended in 2003-2004 school year. Later it further increased 14.1 percent for four year colleges and 13.8 percent for two years course of study. In this way tuition fees got raised in every state of America. The Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance calculated that nearly 4.4 million qualified high school graduates would not be able to get admission in a four year program by the end of the decade. Besides this staff services would also not be available. This would affect the budget and economic misbalance in the stock market would have to raise taxes. This would affect the states and result in the reduction of federal aid. (Dudzic and Reed)
Reality is that education requires more funding in order to get the debt under control, which can be done by providing the new generation with free education. Once this is done, students will get an opportunity to choose a profession that would best suit their abilities and would help them take up jobs that were previously left vacant due to lack of degrees. History shows that if the government does not participate in helping the public fulfill their dreams by providing them with a chance where they can do their best, then they might retaliate and react negatively with divisiveness, racism and jingoism. A debate in the Bush regime in 2004 election suggested a referendum for various decisions to be taken as priorities for a good country. Similarly free education policy could also be debated through elections. To sum up once the people of a nation get what they desire they live contentedly in their beloved country. however if they wish to travel to see the world it would be their personal choice and not a forceful act where they would be bound to leave in order to acquire higher knowledge at a lower cost.
Ashburn, Elyse. "Massachusetts Plan for Free Community Colleges Meets With Sketicism." Chronicles of Higher Education 53.41 (2007): A22-A22. Web. 14 04 2013.
Dudzic, Mark and Adolph and Reed. "Free Higher Ed!" NAtion 278.7 (2004): 16-19. Web. 12 04 2013.
Pettinger, Tejvan. "Should University Education be Free?" 13 11 2008. Economics.Help. Web. 12 04 2013.
"An Interview with Adolph L. Reed Jr.; Free Higher Education." Against the Current. 30 Apr. 2005: p 15. eLibrary. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.
Casey, Okla.. "Student loan debt averages more than $25,000." McClatchy - Tribune Business News. 26 Aug. 2012 eLibrary. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.