Running head: COLLEGE EDUCATION1
COLLEGE EDUCATION 4
Should college education be free?
The debate on whether college education needs to be free has elicited mixed reactions in the United States with the majority of people calling for free education in the United States. While this may seem to be the best alternative, it may also lead to other underlying challenges for the country. This paper aims at evaluating whether college education needs to be free or not and provides a position for the government to take.
The policy of implementing free primary education in colleges is crucial in promoting better access to education (Lederer et al., 2021). In the United States, the majority of students usually fail to continue with education due to a lack of finances. Therefore, promoting free education in colleges will help the needy students to access education and hence, will increase their chances of being employed in the future. However, Carnevale et al. (2020) have a different idea regarding this issue. According to him, a college education is an investment. Therefore, free education will cripple most colleges since they will not have adequate finances to operate. The majority of colleges are likely to shut down but the number of students will keep increasing. This will lead to a crisis in college institutions. Therefore, Carnevale et al. (2020) state that although free education in colleges is good, it will also cripple the financial structure of most colleges.
Secondly, promoting free education in colleges will also widen the workforce in the US. House and Dell (2020) state that enhancing free education in college means that more students will enroll in colleges. Therefore, the majority of students will acquire knowledge and skills in various fields of work. Consequently, they are likely to transfer their knowledge and skills to their workforce (Epstein, 2021). Organizations will have more skilled employees to choose the workforce from hence widening the workforce in the US. However, Conway, Wladis, and Hachey (2021) doubt if free education will widen the workforce in the US. According to him, free education will make the students lose value and the motivation of working hard for their studies. Carnevale et al. (2020) support this idea by noting that not all students are fit to have a college education. He states that quality education is acquired through hard work and hence, free education in colleges will lead to inflation in colleges. This will decrease the overall quality of college education in the United States. Therefore, though free education in colleges will widen the workforce, it is also clear that it will decrease the quality of studies in college education.
Thirdly, free education in colleges will boost the economy in the US. Epstein (2021) states that every year, the average student debt per person is $31,000. When students graduate with debts, they usually take a long period before they can clear these debts. However, if college education is made free, students will be debt-free and they easily plan for their future including the process of securing jobs and saving for the future (Lederer et al., 2021). However, Conway, Wladis, and Hachey (2021) state that this will reduce other programs in the country. He notes that free education means that the government will have to abandon some safe projects e.g. reducing health insurance to fund free education. This will also create problems for other states that are still straining to fund their education and health programs. Therefore, though free education will make students debt-free, other programs will have to be scrapped to pave way for free education funding.
To conclude, free education will be essential in the US. It will help the needy students to have access to education and hence, will improve access to education. It will also help to bridge the education gap between the poor and the rich. Although there will be some challenges, the benefits of free education in colleges surpass all the challenges that the government will encounter.
Carnevale, A. P., Sablan, J. R., Gulish, A., Quinn, M. C., & Cinquegrani, G. (2020).
The Dollars and Sense of Free College.Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
Conway, K. M., Wladis, C., & Hachey, A. C. (2021). Time Poverty and Parenthood:
Who Has Time for College?.AERA Open,7, 23328584211011608.
Epstein, R. A. (2021). College Isn’t Free–Nor Should It Be: Wiping out student debt
would involve staggering costs and unfair taxation. Worse, loan forgiveness would violate the principle of making degrees pay for themselves.Hoover Digest, (2), 72-77.
House, E., & Dell, M. (2020). Keeping the promise: Early outcomes of Tennessee’s
tuition-free college initiative.Improving research-based knowledge of college promise programs, 151-172.
Lederer, A. M., Hoban, M. T., Lipson, S. K., Zhou, S., & Eisenberg, D. (2021).
More than inconvenienced: The unique needs of US college students during the COVID-19 pandemic.Health Education & Behavior,48(1), 14-19.
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