Since higher education is primarily a paid service in the United States, I became interested in the federal government’s subsidies for college education. According to Faricy and Ellis, the U.S. strives to provide financial security to its citizens through tax subsidies and public programs (1). Employed citizens agree that their taxes can be spent on Medicare, Medicaid, and universal basic income to allow everyone to have medical care and enough money to survive (Lowrey 3). However, people may be reluctant to pay for other children’s college tuition, which is relatively expensive. Still, students from low-income families can receive grants and discounts to get university degrees through personal efforts, the federal government, and states.
A college education is an investment that the low-income class cannot afford; hence, governmental support is essential in these cases. Unfortunately, students who want to get higher education but cannot pay for it are often ethnic minorities and marginalized communities (Philpot 1). Although policymakers can limit the universities’ prices for tuition, education in the United States is still expensive, making it unavailable to particular population groups (Herasymova 40). Therefore, the federal government passed several laws to provide financial aid to the youth. For instance, the 1965 Higher Education Act expanded access to student loans (Sitaraman 255). Furthermore, Congress introduced Pell Grants in 1972 to allow poor students to receive college degrees without a loan (Sitaraman 256). Overall, subsidizing higher education by the government is highly debated because some scholars view it as cash cows, while others consider it a chance for young people to have a better future.
In summary, the American higher education system is complex and expensive, making it unaffordable for some students. Thus, governmental subsidization is critical to creating equal opportunities for the youth to receive college training and get out of poverty. My explorations in this topic showed that not all researchers view federal programs positively. Still, the majority perceive the Higher Education Act and Pell Grants as essential policies to maintain a democratic society. My further research will require reviewing the statistical data about the admittance rate among various groups, comparing tuition fees, and assessing the percentage of graduates with governmental grants.
Faricy, Christopher G., and Christopher Ellis. The Other Side of the Coin: Public Opinion toward Social Tax Expenditures. Russell Sage Foundation, 2021.
Herasymova, Daria. How Will I Afford It? Financial Aid and Its Impact on Higher Education: Evidence from the State of Mississippi. 2019. Undergraduate thesis. eGROVE.
Lowrey, Annie. Give People Money: The Simple Idea to Solve Inequality and Revolutionise Our Lives. Random House, 2018.
Philpot, Erin Sylvester. Does Financial Aid Policy Influence Who Attends College? The Effects of Merit and Need Aid on the College Attendance of Racially Minoritized Students. 2020. PhD dissertation. ProQuest.
Sitaraman, Ganesh. The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality. Harvard University Press, 2019.