Discussion: Public Colleges Should Be Free

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Some countries across the world have made public colleges easily accessible by making them tuition-free. Most European countries like Germany, France, and Spain, among others, were among the first countries to offer free college education and have done so since then. Most states in the United States have also begun offering free college studies to their students. It is hard to acquire employment without a college education nowadays, hence college education is an integral part of society. With the increased costs of college fees, many are forced to take debts that take them years to pay back, while others opt out of college education. Making college free would be very impactful, especially for those who cannot afford the tuition. A free college education would have a lot of advantages, including equity and equality, workforce expansion, and boosting the economy.

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Most students, after high school graduation, become stranded due to a lack of funds to join college. They are forced to look for employment that does not even pay their bills fully since most have to support their families. Most of the students who graduate at the top of the class are from low-income earning families, and most colleges that would admit such clever minds are out of the question for these students (Pingel et al.). Providing free education to such students would increase equality in society since most well- families never struggle to go through college. Without an affordable college education, students from low-income families will continue languishing in poverty while their mates from rich families continue being privileged (Pingel et al.). Providing affordable or free education will lead to increased innovation and hence increased economic growth. Most students of color and low-income earners are among the largest population that miss the opportunity to join college. Most students are the first ones in their families to join college and it becomes hard for their siblings to go through school since they also have their own needs (Goldrick-Rab & Andrew). Similarly, in case they join college, most do not get the opportunity to complete college due to lack of school fees, and they are forced to drop out before completion. Hence, a free college education will increase equality and equity among low-income earners and well-to-do families by providing equal opportunities to students from both sides.

The increased workforce is another advantage of making college education free. In the world today, the workplace has become complex due to new technologies and improved infrastructure as compared to some years back. Therefore, most of the jobs in the job industry require specialized skills (Goldrick-Rab & Andrew). Having graduated high school limits one from working in certain positions and job descriptions. One must have a degree to join most professions, like engineering, accounting, or even being a doctor. Lacking a degree, therefore, limits a person from pursuing their dream careers, and this also can lead to a reduced task force if a large number of students do not join a college in a given region (Bady). Offering a free college education will highly benefit society by having more qualified people, hence higher job applicants, leading to high competition and creating more jobs. Increasing the workforce would, in return, lead to growth in the economy.

Lastly, offering free education leads to growth in the economy of a country. With a lack of affordable college education, most students opt to borrow money to finance their education since some courses do not allow one to have a job while still schooling (Jones & Katie). By the time the students are graduating, they are in debt, and they are forced to finance the debt first hence postponing a lot of projects, including; buying a car, a house, and even saving for retirement. These are some of the societal developments that could lead to economic growth, but most graduates are forced to postpone them hence postponing their economic stimulation (Bady). If only graduates started earning without debts, then they would be able to save and spend more hence stimulating the economy (Goldrick-Rab & Andrew). Free education offers equality and growth of the economy in regions where most people are underprivileged since educating students from not well-off backgrounds will help them improve their parents’ lives (Mishory). Having educated several students from one area that has poverty issues will ensure that the social levels in the area are improved hence eradicating poverty and increasing economic growth.

With the increased number of countries and states in the United States offering free education, there is an increased number of graduates. Offering free education, especially to low-income earners, will improve equality and equity in the country by ensuring students from well-off families and low-income earners gain access to education. Secondly, a free college education will lead to an increased workforce since most jobs in most industries require educated people who have earned a degree. Educating more people will create more jobs, and there will be higher competition in the job market. Finally, offering a free college education will boost the economy by reducing the number of debts that the students have to borrow to go through school. Therefore, college education should be made free and accessible to anyone who is willing to join college but cannot afford to.

Works Cited

Bady, Aaron. “OPINION: Public Universities Should Be Free.” Aljazeera.com, 2016, Web.

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Goldrick-Rab, Sara, and Andrew P. Kelly. “Should community college be free? Education Next talks with Sara Goldrick-Rab and Andrew P. Kelly.” Education Next, vol. 16, no. 1, 2016, pp. 54-61.

Jones, Tiffany, and Katie Berger. “A promise fulfilled: A framework for equitable free college programs.” (2018).

Mishory, Jen. “Free College:” Here to Stay? (2018).

Pingel, Sarah, Emily Parker, and Lauren Sisneros. “Free Community College: An Approach to Increase Adult Student Success in Postsecondary Education. Special Report.” Education Commission of the States (2016).

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