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What the Benefits of Free College Education

Updated April 17, 2021
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What the Benefits of Free College Education essay

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Everyone says that there is no such thing as a free lunch and education should not be free. Being a second time college student was not an easy decision. I was already struggling paying a huge amount back for student loans that I had to take out to become a Massage Therapist that did not work out for me. I was not meant to be in that field and my heart ended up in another profession. With the consequences of having to add onto my student loan debt, I took the chance and applied for college with dreams of becoming a nurse in the future. In the process of applying to Santa Rosa Junior College, I wondered if there was a free program to not worry about my student loans that I would be facing with the sense of wondering why education is ridiculously expensive. In a personal opinion, an education should be free or more affordable to students that are pursuing a career path.

Increasing levels of debt for students is not the solution. Education has not become a trend, but seems mandatory if you want to, either, have more experience in your job or get offered a promotion into a more professional seat. It should be viewed as serving your country. Also, more jobs should offer to send employees to college with tuition expenses being paid by the company; therefore, making tuition free for the employees.

Making college free for students seems easy. Tuition would have to be reduced for public colleges by developing public allowances for those colleges. Confusion would be eliminated by presenting an affordable price for everyone instead of including hidden fees. The worry of filing paperwork that opens the gate of extra fees would not be a worry anymore and low-income students would not be viewed as “low-income”. Students would have a sense of equality instead of being put into an income category. (Said Beth Akers and Mathew M. Chingos, Game of Loans, Page 136-139, 2016)

President Barak Obama was not the only president to try and enact free education. The Land Grant College Act was placed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to allow students to attend college without paying for tuition. With the student population growing, this vision seemed impossible to the society and did not go through. Americans seemed scared that taxes would be raised because of this new act, and feared they would lose their economic freedom (Said Keith Ellison, “The Argument for Tuition-Free College”, 2016). Presidents Lincoln and Obama wanted to give every student the chance to succeed without worrying with student loan debt, but America was not ready for their visions of free education. I believe Americans should not fear taking a risk of giving the idea of free tuition an opportunity. They should come together as a community and help each other succeed.

​Denmark offers free education for international students and has a 5% poverty level, with the United States having a 17% poverty rate. Denmark exceeds at their employment rate with 82% over the United States having only 77%. (Said Matt Bruenig, “United States vs, Denmark, in 17 Charts”, 2015). I believe that the poverty rate would be lower in the United States for students if education would be offered for free instead of paying for tuitions, books, borrowed loans, and additional education fees. Foreign countries, such as Denmark, seem to have more of a success rate when it comes to education with it being one of the highest in the world.

​Even though Denmark offers free tuition for college, the cost of rent for housing, transportation, and food still have to be covered by the students; therefore, leaving students only having to worry about their current cost of living without worrying about the additional costs of attending college (Student Debt, William Elliot III and Melinda K. Lewis, Page 62). In the United States, students have to worry about their cost of living and transportation, along with the extra money that comes out of their pocket for their classes. Offering free or more affordable tuition would allow a stress-free learning environment for students so they would become more successful in their career of choice. If Denmark can do it, why can’t we?

​If tuition was offered for free, would it work? The states of Tennessee and Oregon have introduced a program that allows students to attend college with a scholarship with the Tennessee and Oregon Promise covering fees that are not covered by grants. After the programs were introduced in 2015, graduation rates have increased tremendously and more students started to attend the colleges under the grants that were now available (Said Carol Patton, “Is Free Tuition Working”, 2017). If other states were to introduce a program that allows students to attend college for free, more students would be more interested in attending college and more confident to graduate. It seems to be working because of the increase of graduations and class attendance for students.

​Education should be free for students in the United States because the poverty rate would drop, success rates would increase, and graduates would be happier because they could focus on their career without the worry of having to pay student loans back; preventing students to go into never-ending debt. In order for free education to be offered to the United States, someone would have to pay for students to attend college and cover tuition and other educational fees. I believe the money would have to come from tax on Wall Street speculation and decrease our excessive military spending. With the money that our military spends on extra salary, via Generals and Lieutenants, and equipment, we could use this money to cover expenses for potential students to attend schools without worrying where they would find the money to attend. Instead of taking from tax payers, the money used for students to go to school would come from stocks and investments. Let’s take from the rich in order for the poor to succeed

Another benefit of free education would be lower stress levels of students. If students would have the opportunity to only focus on their education instead of the cost, they would focus more on their studies and be able to excel themselves in the career of their choice with no worry of their education. However, the money to fund free education could always run out due to Wall Street and tax speculations running out and people not buying from the stock market. Also, to find the money, taxes could be raised and cause stress on people and the economy that pay taxes that would fund free education to students. Money is not an infinite source and will not always be there for students and other people that would depend on stocks and other sources that would provide for them to attend college.

​Poverty in the United States, because of costly education, has long-lasting effects on students that want to get an education and be successful. Young children that live in poverty and experience unaffordable education tend to suffer with cognitive development and are more likely to drop out of high school. (Said Kelley Taylor, “Insight into Diversity”, 2017). What ways could Americans get out of poverty because of paying for education? Offering free education would give underprivileged students the chance to be successful and make for happier lifestyles, and students would be more eager to graduate.

​Being a single mom is hard as it is. Worrying with student loans has been a huge burden on me because I worry where I would find the money to cover the education that I’m pursuing. If education for students were to be free in the United States, it would allow students to not worry about where they would find the money to pay for their education. In order for education to be free or affordable, we would have to understand budgets for colleges. How much it would cost to fund an institution would have to be understood. Students would need a better sense of knowledge to know how the money is being used.

For example, if you are paying over $27,000 to attend college for the Massage Therapy program, the student would wonder how the money is being used and what is the total amount going towards. Is it for the upkeep of the college? Are the instructors of the program getting the amount they need and deserve? Are sponsors getting paid the right amount? These are just some of the worries that I had while attending college for my Massage Therapy degree.

​Another person would probably argue that free tuition should not be available in the United States, but I believe that it should. For example, a high school student that is not eligible for grants or loans to attend college to help his family that is in poverty and can barely survive off of the income of just one parent should have the opportunity to attend college for free in order to assist his family in need. He should not have to be forced to struggle with an underpaid, non-degree job because of tuition charges when he has bigger aspirations.

​So the question baring is why should tuition be free? Taking out loans to pay for college is always a fear because you have to pay it back. It can, also, lead into debt and it will reflect on your credit. Sadly, unpaid debt goes into collections and the cost of the unpaid loans will rise to an unbelievable amount. Another reason why it should be free is because it gives everyone a fighting chance to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer, or a teacher.

​Should education be free? Education has come a long ways in the past several years and student loans have grown with it. Student debt is a huge worry with students and should be eliminated to decrease stress and increase success. Society should not worry about extra taxes and view this point as a helping their communities grow. Education should be offered for free for students because it would allow everyone a chance to be successful, gives graduates higher paying jobs, and able to make their community stronger.

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What the Benefits of Free College Education. (2021, Apr 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-the-benefits-of-free-college-education/

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