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Is Free College Tuition The Answer?

by on December 1, 2015


These days, the idea of free college tuition has been frequently tossed around between upcoming presidential candidates as a hot topic of discussion. Some argue that there is more to college affordability then lower costs, while others stand by the numbers, the high cost prices and related debt students face upon graduation.

Students from middle and low-income backgrounds are the most targeted for receiving this reduced tuition, and the kids we want to introduce to the opportunity. The problem I see within these arguments however is the lack of state support public institutions have received over the years, this decline in the problem in my eyes. We need stronger need-based financial aid programs and better loan and debt accessibility for students in these economic backgrounds.



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  1. I think there is a bigger reason behind high schooling costs than people understand. As bad as it sounds, the price is what creates that line between success and getting by in this world. If college costs drop, the gateway of students attending these schools will open, and there will be a greater competitive field. The reason for such high rates may be to separate the competition rate for jobs. Less people eligible for higher jobs, less people making above average wages and the job market keeps a balance. If everyone has the same job opportunity, who will do the less desirable jobs?

  2. This is always a controversial topic, and the ethics of how to pay for free college tuition was recently in the news. Keely Mullen, an organizer for Million Student March, recently proposed her solution to paying for college on Fox News. The title of the video on YouTube is called “Neil Cavuto embarrasses student who wants free college and has no idea how to pay for it.” Mullen’s demands are free public college, a cancellation of student debt, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for people working on campus. She says that this will be paid by the 1% of the population who are the wealthiest in the country. Cavuto, the Fox News reporter, questioned Mullen on several issues that this would raise, including how this model could not last for long, and of course, that people would be opposed to have their taxes raised to such high levels.

    The idea, and the fact that it is not possible for all of Mullen and her organization’s demands to be met by having the 1% pay for it all, raises ethical dilemmas of free college tuition. This model is interesting because students are pushing for free college, but they do not understand how it could actually be paid. I know that this wasn’t suggested in the original post, but I thought it was interesting to bring up how difficult free college is to obtain, and that this course of action is definitely not the answer.

  3. I think college tuition should be free and colleges should be more accessible. Saying that if the cost of tuition drops and more “competitors” will be allowed into the job market with a degree is a completely classist way of thinking about it and ignores the fact that the majority of students who cannot afford college tuition are minorities who have been systematically oppressed and made unable to move up in this world. The majority of people who can afford college are white middle/upper class citizens. Everybody SHOULD have the same job opportunity. That’s the mindset that this whole country was supposed to be founded on, but that was married by racism and this elitist way of thinking. It’s a disturbing thought that people want to keep others at a lower status so that they themselves do not have to worry about “who’s gonna do the dirty work”.

    At this point, free tuition is a goal with way too many blockades that need to be broken down. It isn’t going to be easy, but take a look at all the other countries that DO have free tuition and health care. That should be a standard and a basic human right- to go to school. It’s a damn shame that it isn’t that way.

  4. I think we all can agree that college tuition both public and private has inflated to an insane level that leaves many students with debt equivalent to a mortgage after graduation. With that being said I don’t think free tuition is the answer to the problem. With free tuition comes a moral hazard that I believe would lead to many squandering their opportunity at an education.

    By forcing students to take on some debt even a marginal amount we are forcing them to invest in their own education and be more vested to their own success. In fact there is data ( that show an increase in academic performance with an increase in student loan debt up until around $40,000 over 4 years of college.

    What I propose is decreasing out of pocket tuition to a manageable level ($5000 per year) that would increase the number of students able to attend college while still requiring some sort of financial commitment from students. This debt would result in very reasonable student loan payments for fully employed grads and ensure the Universities have endowments large enough to provide high quality education to students.

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