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Free College

Let’s talk about the outrageous costs of higher education. Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator and Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont, says spiraling college tuition is “a national disgrace.” He is running on the promise of free in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities, to be paid for by a new federal tax on financial transactions, including stock, bond and derivative trades. Sanders’s assessment of college affordability is the conclusion average American citizens have come to.

Foremost, Free public universities would force private universities to lower tuition costs in order to make their school more appealing to prospective students. Lowering tuition of private schools would make education more affordable if one were to choose to go to a private university. The choice between public and private would still be similar for prospective students as it is today. Should one attend a public university for free, or pay for the associated prestige of a private university? At least this way there is an option for everyone and everyone has the opportunity to attend college.

Secondly, the nation’s economy demands that workers possess increasing levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are best acquired through postsecondary education. Without workers who have the right foundations, the United States will lose ground to countries that have prepared better for the demands of the 21st century workforce and, ultimately, the United States economy and security will be jeopardized. It is time for a new plan to ensure that Americans are prepared to meet the demands of the new global economy. A recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that at current levels of production, the U.S. economy will have a shortfall of 5 million college-educated workers by 2020. This gap is unsurprising.

In conclusion, there would be an initial payout that either the state or the federal government would have to make for this plan to be a reality. However, education is well worth the investment by inspiring generations who will lead to innovation and prosperity. President Obama, had said in Aug 2010, at the University of Texas in Austin, “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we’ve got a world-class education system for everybody. That is a prerequisite for prosperity. It is an obligation that we have for the next generation.” Not only would these students become the intellects that would engineer great ideas to come, but they will also become leaders and figures to follow in our society. It is crucial for people to understand and generate new solutions to the major social, political, economic, and environmental concerns that face today’s society. Many other countries have already enacted legislation that provides its citizens with free college education. Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Finland, and Spain all have free tuition. Having already succeeded in other countries, legislators in America can study what works and potential flaws in the existing programs and work out a very detailed plan that could lead to a successful act this legislation here in the United States.

Thomas Jefferson “it is safer to have the whole people respectively enlightened than a few in a high state of science and the many in ignorance.” He felt that a real democracy requires an educated populace. Ignorance is the enemy of freedom.

3 Comments

  1. I agree with you that investing in free higher education is a good thing. There are many, many, many people that are not in college today because of the cost of tuition. It is ridiculous that we have to pay $30,000-40,000 a year multiplied by four to get a piece of paper that we call a degree. Not saying degrees are not worth it because in the end you get paid more with a bachelor’s degree than a high school diploma. My only thing is it doesn’t have to cost so much, Another thing is we are paying so much money but as students are not seeing it benefit us as much as we would like. For instance with VCU and upperclassmen housing, we don’t have enough beds for the amount of upperclassmen that we have enrolled. That means for the people who don’t have housing for the next year they have to find a place to stay, commute if they can, take a semester off. transfer, drop out completely, or be homeless. This is a very sad scenario for a lot of students and it is not just VCU its across the country. Many schools have enough housing but because it cost so much students can’t afford it and so they end up in a homeless scenario. Having free tuition could open doors for a lot of students because it can make it more affordable for people to get degrees. The key thing that I think people miss here is that making tuition free does not mean that a degree is worth nothing it means that people have an opportunity to live their lives and get educated.

  2. I do agree with what you are saying but I believe that college should not be free. I think that it would not work out if college was free. If it is was free then I believe that college would turn into public grade school education system. I do believe that college needs to be cheaper though. Student loan debt is the highest debt in the country right now and that is ridiculous because we are told that we have to go to college to get a good career. I believe that if all colleges were free then some degrees would loose their value.

  3. I agree with you that college should be free. You made some really interesting points on why college should be free. You mentioned that the nation’s economy needs workers that have increasing levels of knowledge, abilities and skills in order to be successful. Our economy needs workers that have high levels of skill in order for our economy to not be in jeopardy. I do agree that having free college for public schools, would force private schools to lower tuition to bring in more students. College should be free because some students when they graduate, are in a ton of debt. Those students that are in debt, have to work just to lose the debt.

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