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There is an ongoing debate in the modern world that college should be free. Attaining a college degree in some circumstances should be free, and it used to be. Well believe it or not there actually was a time in this nation’s history when students could attend public colleges for free. An act called the Morrill Act which was made official in 1862 allowed select colleges to be created by states on federal lands so that higher education could become available to Americans everywhere, no matter their social class.
But that was then, this is now. In the past, students could typically attend public colleges with Land Grant without paying any tuition. Only a small amount of Americans attend college at the time so that’s why this was even possible. But over the years college enrollment has grown tremendously causing a college education to raise in price. There are great benefits with a free college education like free college could possibly benefit the entire nation, however, there are also flaws like where would the money come from? The government or angry taxpayers!
Although all of this “free college” talk sounds great, Technically, free college isn’t really free.
It does have to get paid for somehow. In public scools that means taxpayers. But some people think that all students should go to college for free, and that the government should make chamges. Like Decreasing the military budget and Cracking down on wasteful government spending. Which would have ripple effects in other areas of the economy.
Nowadays the cost of attending many public colleges is so high that a lot of students simply can’t afford to go. As a result, far fewer students from lower-income families attend college than those from upper-income families. Low-income students who do decide to attend a university have an extremely high chance of taking out some type of student loan. In 2017, the total amount of student loan debt in America was estimated to be almost $1.5 trillion which is over 30 percent higher than it was just four years before, and student loans are, by far, the most prominent type of financial aid. From 2012-13 alone a whopping 10 million students took out student loans. If you look at these statistics, it doesn’t look too good for lower-income students; as they often end up in a tremendous amount of student loan debt. But in 2016, a survey was taken and it was found out that 57 percent more money than a YA who never attended college. But if Lower-income students cannot afford to go to college they most likely will not make as much as they would have if they attained a bachelor’s degree. Which means they are very likely to slip into poverty. Some students even drop out of school because they cannot for college tuition all four years, they start but they never finish. If college tuition was free, this could possibly eliminate this problem. This would also serve to improve college graduation rates, as fewer students would feel the need to drop to part-time status or take a break from education for financial reasons.
As enrollment at public schools increases, so do the fees. Either more money would have to be given to the schools, or they would have to create waitlists. This means that the taxes for education-related purposes might go up, or funding for something else might be diverted to pay the influx of fees. In addition to this, a large number of graduates might oversaturate some areas of the workforce, leaving even more people with degrees working jobs that they are overqualified for.
In conclusion, by lowering the price of higher education, there could be a dramatic jump in the number of pf students who attend college. As a result of more students attending college, people in the workforce would be more educated. This could benefit society in amazing ways.
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