Colleges Provide Opportunities
Higher education in the US population has a direct impact on the economic and social growth of the United States. Moreover, an individual’s social and economic development is often wholly dependent on the education they receive. However, the educational level of young people is declining, both in the US and internationally (Buchanan and Wilson 3). Taking into account the need to increase the number of educated people, the authorities are striving to ensure that free community colleges accept as many as possible interested in obtaining higher education. Free Community College was created to make higher education more accessible to the country’s population (Boak 2). Americans and foreigners alike turn to community colleges with the attainable goal of graduating. Free Community Colleges are places of democratic higher education opportunities supported by the state.
Prerequisites for Funding Programs
Community college tertiary education opportunities offered vary from state to state, but they are all diligently supported by senior officials. In addition, the former federal administrations helped spread the idea of free education. For example, the administration of former President Obama put forward a program called the American College Promise, which also targeted free educational institutions (DePillis 3). Many studies also confirm that additional grant aid is helping to increase student enrollment in local colleges.
Biden has proposed a $ 109 billion plan to support families and help them get free education. The plan aims to ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to grow, learn, develop and acquire skills that will subsequently have an impact on the economic stability of the United States. In addition, investing in teachers and students and improving their training and support promotes growth at all levels.
College Funding Program Opportunities
Biden’s program for the development of free public institutions began its implementation at a critical moment. The COVID-19 crisis led to a sharp reduction in jobs, an economic crisis, and, as a result, decrease in the ability of citizens to obtain higher education (Lobosco 4). However, supporters of the Biden plan argue that support for community colleges can, if not completely solve the problem, then improve the situation in the country (Gross 5). A number of economic studies prove that an increase in the percentage of the educated population has a positive effect on the financial position of the state.
Biden’s 10-year plan is the most significant investment in higher education, but it has undergone some changes. The program was reduced from ten years to five, which reduced funding by more than half, but the program is still extensive. The problem that exists now and hinders the implementation of the program is that it has not been adopted at the federal level. It means that many students who want to get higher education but do not have the opportunity are often not aware of whether there are free colleges in their state. The program and college admissions will become more transparent and achievable by making it nationally universal.
Former President Obama has also put forward plans to support two years of tuition at the Free Community College. His plan could affect about nine million students from all states of the United States, which, obviously, would only benefit the development of the country. Many educational researchers supported the program and saw it as an effective way to help a large segment of the population enter the middle class. Studies already existing then showed that two-year diplomas provide an opportunity for junior professionals to earn more than if he or she had only secondary education.
Disadvantages of Free Education
The challenges that have arisen in 2019 clearly demonstrate that providing the opportunity to receive free education is not enough. When learning moved online, virtual courses ended all hands-on learning. When knowledge was still done through the computer in 2020 and 2021, many learners focused more on work and less on school (Sacerdote 3). Ultimately, most people decide to quit their studies altogether as the workload increases. That is why many began to believe that it makes no sense to allocate such a large budget to stimulate education. At least until this is accompanied by additional support programs.
Moreover, as the modern world is undergoing rapid change, it is unknown whether funding training in some areas makes sense. The pandemic raises the question of whether this or that training program will be relevant in the future (Kirshner 7). That is, how significant changes will take place in the region and whether graduates will be able to find work in their specialty later. COVID-19 only increased the needs of those wishing to enroll in Free Community Colleges.
There is also a perception that making education free and thus accessible to everyone is a simple policy. On the other hand, targeted approaches, such as providing training places for those who need it most, will be more effective on the budget side as well. Moreover, researchers examined the impact of implementing programs to support free education in some states. Indeed, about 2.5 percent of students were able to go to college through various grants from the state. At the same time, another 2.5 percent are people who dropped out of four-year high schools and transferred to two-year colleges. Thus, free education programs have a negative impact on higher education.
Depending on the program’s design, researchers fear that this could have an even more significant negative impact on those who need government support. For example, because it could provide a free college place for those who can already afford it. Thus, the poor students, for example, are less likely to succeed. In addition, many are concerned that there is no incentive to go to four-year colleges.
Many questions still concern financing issues: what aspects it covers and whether it can cover everything. Whether the program will be universal for all states also remains on the agenda (Nadworny and Simon 1). Suppose the program in all districts will have the same budget; how fair it will be in relation to candidates from more developed districts because their opportunities, in this case, are limited (Mangan 4). Tuition costs are becoming a limiting factor for many students who want to pursue higher education but cannot due to differences in the state’s economic development in which they intend to pursue their education.
Community colleges host over a third of college students in the United States. They serve as a significant gateway to education beyond high school and economic progress for low-income and minority students, many of them are the first to go to college in their families. As Biden, Obama, and others from various education funding projects have argued, these students are critical to the country’s future economic success and viability as a democracy.
The programs offered by the federal administrations to provide free education to those who need it are facing many challenges now. Such problems include, for example, the recently erupted pandemic giving rise to new changes and additions to the structure of bills (Mangan 4). More and more students are becoming not interested in higher education due to the instability of the development of some areas. Instead of training, many prefer to increase the time spent at the workplace in order to earn more. In addition, when developing the plan, the administration should also consider the possible negative impact on the statistics of student enrollment in four-year colleges and the competitiveness of the low-income segments of the population.
It is important to remember that college tuition does not always mean covering all costs, including tuition fees. Many students combine work with study, who have to shorten their working hours or even quit their jobs. Given the program’s state, training costs can vary, and although the training itself is free, not everyone can afford it as a result. That is why the factor of financing from district to district should be taken into account.
At the same time, despite the potential challenges, Free Community College is an excellent study opportunity for many likely low-income students now. The good news is that politicians, community college leaders, and academics working together have learned many ways about how to make community colleges more effective. No matter how developed this or that program is, it should consider the stimulation of the development of new ideas of the students, their upgrowth, and execution. Beyond providing opportunities for higher education for everyone, regardless of social status, Free Community Colleges also stimulate the economic and social growth of the USA.
Buchanan, Lori Elliott, and Kristin Bailey Wilson. “Free Community College and Merit Scholarships.” New Directions for Community Colleges, vol. 2017, no. 180, 2017, pp. 67–74.
Boak, Josh. “Biden’s Administration Plans To Spend $109 Billion On Free Community College Education.” Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine, 2021.
Gross, Jenny. “Can Biden’s $109 Billion Plan For Free Community College Work?” The New York Times, 2021.
DePillis, Lydia. “Six Things to Know About Obama’s Plan for Free Community College.” The Washington Post, WP Company, Web.
Lobosco, Katie. “Free Community College Is Out of Biden’s Plan, But a Bigger Pell Grant Could Still Help Cut Costs.” 2021.
Sacerdote, Bruce. “The Pros and Cons of Free Community College.” Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine, vol. 30, no. 5, 2020.
Nadworny, Elissa, and Scott Simon. “Jill Biden Discusses Her Husband’s Plan for Free Community College.” NPR, NPR, Web.
Kirshner, Jodie Adams. “Free Community College Is Great, But It Doesn’t Solve Everything.” Washington Monthly, vol. 53, no. 7-8, 2021.
Mangan, Katherine. “A-Free-for-All.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 67, no. 18, 2021.
Bailey, Thomas, and Thomas Brock. “Biden’s Free Community College Plan Is Dead. but There Are Other Ways for Congress to Help Students.” The Washington Post, WP Company, Web.