Education is one of the most important pillars of America’s economic, political, and social prosperity. In that regard, it is important for everyone to have access to quality and affordable education. In the United States, citizens have access to free education in public schools starting from kindergarten through 12th grade (Samuels, 2013). High school education is not enough to guarantee success in life because, without a degree, it is difficult to get a well-paying job. It is important to make college free in Arizona and across the United States because of the high cost of tuition prevents many people from pursuing higher education.
Why college tuition should be free
Over the last two decades, college tuition fee has increased significantly. Since the 2007-2008 academic year, the tuition fee in Arizona has increased by approximately 80.6% (Samuels, 2013). The increase stands at 66.5% for Georgia and Florida, 3.1% for Maryland, 5.2% for Missouri, and 4.2% for Ohio (Samuels, 2013). One of the reasons for these increases is the reduction of funding from state governments. In Arizona, the state government offers grants to needy students. However, a college education is still expensive.
Free college tuition would lead to more positive education outcomes because it would give students more freedom and lower the levels of stress caused by financial constraints (Page & Clawson, n.d). One of the reasons why students drop out of college is the lack of money to pay for tuition and heightened levels of stress as a result of juggling School and work. Free tuition would allow students to focus on learning, volunteering, and gaining the necessary skills required for excellence in their various academic fields (Page & Clawson, n.d). Reduced stress would lead to optimal utilization of time and other resources. Currently, students owe the government approximately $1.3 trillion in student debt. This situation will continue to worsen if the government does not act swiftly. High student debt is detrimental to the wellbeing of students and the nation (Page & Clawson, n.d). Free college tuition would be a right step toward addressing this problem.
Free tuition would also increase access to education by individuals from low-income families and minority groups and as a result expand America’s middle class (Sanders, 2015). The high cost of education prevents many people from pursuing education after high school because their families cannot afford to pay for their degree and diploma programs. Education is an essential component of personal and national prosperity. The United States needs a well-educated workforce in order to compete effectively in the global economy (Sanders, 2015). This is possible only if more people get access to quality education and if graduates come out of school without student debt. Free tuition would ensure that any young person interested in pursuing higher education gets the chance without being stopped by family background or economic status (Sanders, 2015). The easiest pathway to the middle class is through higher education that is currently very expensive. Free tuition is the best strategy for expanding America’s middle class that is the backbone of the economy.
Another reason to make college tuition-free is to eradicate cases of student loan fraud (Samuels, 2013). Fraud cases originate from individuals who apply for loans that exceed the amount they require to cover their expenses. In some cases, people who lose their jobs register for college so that they can apply for student loans and get money to pay their bills. Usually, these people fail to attend college or squander money. Free tuition would eradicate cases of student loan fraud because the money would be sent directly to institutions and not given to students (Samuels, 2013). In addition, it would ensure that money is used appropriately for positive purposes.
Why college should not be free
Opponents of free college argue that it would strain public budgets and compel taxpayers to pay more taxes to fund the program (Lane, 2015). As a result, it would lead to a shortage of access. According to Lane (2015), free tuition would make higher education accessible to many people but less excellent because of difficulties in administering flooded colleges. In addition, students could flood the system and make it ineffective or raise costs (Lane, 2015). High costs would necessitate further federal subsidies that could mean a higher burden for taxpayers. Free tuition could also lower the quality of education because available resources would have to be shared or distributed among many students (Lane, 2015). This argument is supported by the argument that even though German offers free college educations, none of its institutions features among the top 50 globally. The quality of education is not great but good.
Education is one of the most important backbones of a prosperous nation. Therefore, it is important for young people to get access to quality and affordable education. Higher education in America is very expensive. The high cost stops many people from pursuing it and improving the quality of their lives. Benefits of the free college include reduction of cases of student loans fraud, expansion of the middle class, individuals from low-income families and minority groups would get access, and students would experience more positive educational outcomes. On the contrary, it would increase the burden on the fiscal budget and compel taxpayers to pay more. In addition, it would increase access but lower the quality of education.
Lane, C. (2015). College Doesn’t Need to Be Free. Web.
Page, M., & Clawson, D. (n.d). It’s Time to Push for Free College. Web.
Samuels, R. (2013). Why Public Higher Education Should Be free: How to Decrease Cost and Increase Quality at American Universities. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Sanders, B. (2015). Make College Free for All. Web.