The question of whether university education should be free for students is controversial. Most students are required to pay fees to access higher education. This is difficult for students in low-income families because, in order to access university-level education, they have to look for student loans. In most cases, university education is not considered a citizen’s right to attend, and therefore students have to pay to go to university. University-level education should be free for students because of several factors.
University education ought to be free for students so they can freely choose a career they want to learn.
When students from low-income families are choosing a major, they are usually guided towards courses that have well-paid income once they are employed. When higher education is allocated as a free and basic good, it becomes essential for the support of an individual’s autonomy. In the current system, students are constrained in ways that undermine their freedom to embark on a reflective assessment of what they want to learn. The students should be given the freedom to choose a course depending on their interests in that field. Unfortunately, where students have to take debts to finance university education, that free choice is taken away from them.
Additionally, student debts negatively affect their academic performance. When students have financial concerns, they tend to have lower goal commitment, persistence, as well as academic engagement. Also, students with financial stress and those with student loans are likely to drop out of school, stop out, or reduce their course loads.
Financial stress reduces the cognitive resources of a student as well as academic engagement and that, in turn, affects academic performance. This means that students who are not financially stressed perform better academically than their financially stressed peers. Moderate financial stress is not associated with poor academic performance hence the need for financial interventions that can help reduce the high financial stress that students have to deal with. Therefore, to prevent high levels of stress that is linked to lower academic performance, education should be free to students.
In as much as education should be free, a free model would have a strain on the institution regarding resources. When students do not pay for higher education, it means that the university will have insufficient resources. Institutions of higher learning need adequate resources for them to provide quality education to students. In a free university system, the number of students enrolling might rise rapidly, and that would put great pressure on university resources and affect the university’s prestige. However, the government should be responsible for the education of those students who want to learn. It is true that some of them get financial aid just to have money, missing the opportunity to become a professional. Since they do not have to pay for school, they often do not take it seriously, and that is why other students who want to have a good future, have to pay for their classes to achieve the career that they want.
In conclusion, university-level education ought to be free for students since a free system would give them the freedom to choose what they want to study, and it will help avoid the financial stress that the students have to go through. In the current system, students are forced to take courses based on their monetary returns to avoid financial burdens in the future when paying students debts. Definitely, the government should pay for education, to have good professionals in the future.
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