Everyone who’s ever attended college, or about to attend college, will agree that taking part in higher education is expensive. Most are able to fund their studies with loans, grants, and their own hard earned money, but not everyone can. Is it time that colleges were made free to all who want to attend?
Many student debt activists would argue that free education is beneficial to all. Keeping the price so high, they say, is keeping all but the elite few out of the college system. When only a few people can get such a quality of education, how does this level the playing field for the rest of the would be students out there?
There are certainly students out there who deserve a helping hand to get into college. Students who maintain top grades, but come from low income families, are one such example. They have the skill and know how to get themselves into college, but the high price is the one barrier that’s keeping them out. How is it fair to keep someone like that out, when they show such potential?
Free education would help those who are down on their luck, too. People who are homeless, single parents, or otherwise struggling to get ahead.
As great as these ideas are though, there are some drawbacks. Colleges are not cheap to run, and there is the question of how they would be funded if not through the students themselves. After all, the staff, as much they may like to, cannot work for free.
The best way to pay for a free college education would be through increased taxes. To fund every student’s studies, taxes would have to take quite a steep increase. Not everyone will agree with these increases, and it will be especially galling for those who have no interest in funding their own, or their children’s, further education.
Free college education will change the way students see higher education. As it stands now, it’s a goal that you work towards, because you know it’s worth it to develop the skills you need. With a free college education, it would certainly invite more applicants than ever before. Not all of those applicants will be as dedicated, and some may use the opportunity to put off thinking about their future, rather than to study.
It may be better to find a middle ground. The amount students currently pay is too high, so there needs to be a way to bring it down. A split should be made between the student and the state, meaning both have an equal stake and responsibility. This way, everyone who wants to has the chance at an education.