Why America Should Provide Free College

Subject: Education
Type: Exemplification Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 846
Topics: College Tuition, Government

College affordability has been in an issue of debate in America for many years. It started in 1877 when President Rutherford Hayes affirmed the need for free universal education. In his maiden speech, Hayes indicated that education was the foundation of political and economic participation which are important in attaining prosperity for all. It is for such advocacy that America introduced free education to the K-12. However, in recent times, many Americans are finding it difficult to attend college due to the high cost of college education, with many believing that the cost of college outweighs its benefits. Despite the soaring students’ loan, many still oppose free college education on the basis that it will present an unnecessary cost to the government and argue that most people are not attending college due to social – not economic – reasons. Making college free will minimize government spending, proliferate college completion rates, reduce student debt, reduce unemployment, and abate the increasing inequality. 

Provision of free college education will help the government cut on cost and spend the cost savings on other developmental programs. The government can offer free college education at a cost of 15-30 billion dollars (Katz & Rose, 2013). Some may consider this amount large because they do not understand that the government is spending over $80 billion annually on schools and colleges that are out to make profit and have low rates of graduation while community colleges remain underfunded (McMillan, 2015). For-profit colleges consume huge sums that would otherwise be used in funding other projects. Similarly, if the federal government meets all college expenses, will reduce the pressure that state governments experience on their budgets freeing up more dollars for services provision (Wittner, 2015). By making college free, the government will make colleges accessible to many while reducing the amounts spent on education since despite being funded, for-profit colleges still charge fees.  

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Moreover, many American students drop out of college due to their inability to meet the skyrocketing cost of college education. Presently, circa 30% of all students who enroll in college graduate (Katz & Rose, 2013). The whopping 70% dropout out along the way as their families became overwhelmed by the cost of college education. While this is flabbergasting, it is a gratuitous waste of money and time for the students (McMillan, 2015). Some drop and start doing jobs that offer little payments to raise their school fees and continue with college later on – spending over 6 years in college instead of 4. With free college education, college completion rates will be high; a learned population is essential in America’s growth and development since GDP will increase and crime rate plummet. 

Free college education will reduce unemployment rate. Since the issue of dropping out of college due to financial reasons will have been sorted, the unemployed population will decrease by 2 million (Katz & Rose, 2013). This will reduce the number of people who rely on government assistance for their survival. Moreover, since crime and unemployment are positively correlated, with free colleges, shirkers will be few and the streets will be safe (Ellison, 2016; Wittner, 2015). 

What’s more, with the increasing economic inequality, if America is to attain equality, free college is indispensable.  Today, college education is 1222% that it was in 1978 (McMillan, 2015). Consequently, many Americans from economically disadvantaged backgrounds have resorted to using student loans to finance their education. According to Ellison (2016), in 2015, “38 million American students owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans” (n.p). In other words, 75% of American students and recent graduates are in debt. This is a form of personal liability that many graduates find it extremely difficult to get over – they spend their entire lifespan repaying the loan (Wittner, 2015). This causes psychological torture to many and reduces their chances of advancing in life; amassing wealth, marrying, owning houses, and other properties become extremely difficult. The government should save the current generation from the looming tragedy by making colleges free – not just making it debt free (Katz & Rose, 2013). 

Additionally, the fear of student loans forces many students to shun college. In today’s exceedingly competitive economy, those with no college degrees may not compete for jobs as accentuated by Ellison (2016) and McMillan (2015). Securing employment becomes extremely difficult and more individuals are pushed to the periphery of the society. The implication of this is that students from poor families will live in biting poverty (Katz & Rose, 2013). To save more Americans from drowning in poverty, college should be free. 

From the above explication, many Americans, despite their mental prowess, are unable to join and complete college owing to the high cost of higher education. To make college more affordable, the government should fully fund it. This will make college free thus minimizing cases of college dropout, unemployment, student debts as well as help the federal government minimize its expenditures while simultaneously enhancing equality. With free college, every American who wishes and qualifies to attend college and get the education that they are craving for. 

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  1. Ellison, K. (2016). The Argument for Tuition-Free College. Retrieved from http://prospect.org/article/argument-tuition-free-college
  2. Katz, M. B., & Rose, M. (2013). Public education under siege. New YorK: Macmillan. 
  3. McMillan, T. (2015). Why Free College Is Necessary | Dissent Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/tressie-mcmillan-cottom-why-free-college-necessary
  4. Wittner, L.S. (2015). Why Tuition-Free College Makes Sense. Retrieved from http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33473-why-tuition-free-college-makes-sense
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