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College Should Be Free: Why It Benefits Society

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Education is one of the most important steps in our life, so, if it is so important, why does it cost so much to go to college? Students on average will pay $30,000 by the time they have graduated. College should be free because the tuition puts them in debt, makes graduates struggle to pay for college before they even get a job, and the stress of paying for college and the classes themselves can cause horrible test scores.

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First and foremost, we know that college is expensive but do you know how detrimental those expenses are. In addition here is a quote from Allison Hochman, “Most students graduate with a massive amount of debt. For example, in the U.S., the average student debt per person is $31,172. When students graduate with debt, they will likely continue to add to their debt with interest. As such, it can take many years before they manage to dig themselves out of debt that only seems to keep growing. In the meantime, this delays spending on such things as buying a house or a car. On the other hand, if people were to graduate without debt, that could fast track their ability to earn, save, and spend. This helps to stimulate the economy. With increases in consumer spending, there is more demand. More demand in spending also relates back to higher demand in the workforce, or more opportunities for employment” (Hochman). There should be a smooth transition from going from college to living on your own, but that is not possible if you are $30,000 in debt. Most people don’t have those years to waste to spend money on college when they have a house, a car, and maybe kids to pay for. It is just a struggle and very hard to pay for something when you barely have enough money for yourself to live on let alone to spend on that debt. However, how many places actually have free college?

Furthermore, with college being free, someone has to pay that sum of money and that goes to taxpayers. Now that seems bad, but some countries are already doing this. It’s not that bad of an idea here is an example of someone talking about the situation. “Having to pay higher taxes is fun for nobody. And so this is an argument that hits close to home for all of us. In fact, in most countries where college is free, this seems to be the case. So what’s the middle ground here? One way some of those countries have worked around this is to require college graduates who benefit from a state-funded program to serve the state or country for at least two years so they can “pay back” the country for their free education. Of course, this workforce will contribute to the economy and also pay taxes — some of which can be used for the next generation of college students. Students who fail to work in the state for the stipulated amount of time will have to pay the state or federal government back” (Farrington). If college was free and we either had to serve in the military for two years or pay it in taxes, it would benefit a lot of people. This will happen because there will be fewer families and homes struggling to pay that sum of money. And also we would also have more troops serving in the military benefiting us even more. However, with the benefit of free college tuition comes the question of how much is being saved.

Next, there is a lot of money put into colleges. But do you know the differences between how much we would spend on college if it was free? “It is estimated that even without this family income limitation, eliminating tuition for four years at all public colleges and universities for all students would cost taxpayers $79 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Education data. Consider, however, that the federal government spent $91 billion in 2016 on policies that subsidized college attendance. At least some of that could be used to help make public higher education institutions tuition-free in partnership with the states.”(Cottom). There can be a lot more money put towards college if we made taxpayers pay for it. It saves almost $20 billion that is a lot of money. All of that money is saved if we just made college free and added it towards taxes. But what places in America are making these moves to make college free.

In addition, there are some places that actually are taking steps to have free college. Tennessee is one place that allows 2 free years of college. “California already has taken big steps to make its community college system, the largest in the nation, tuition-free by fully funding its California Promise grant program. But community college is not yet free to all students. Tuition costs just more than $1,500 for a full course load are waived for low-income students. Colleges have to spend the Promise funds to cover tuition costs for other students so, at many colleges, students still have to pay tuition. At the state’s four-year universities, about 60% of students at the California State University and the same share of in-state undergraduates at the 10-campus University of California, attend tuition-free as well, as a result of Cal grants, federal Pell grants, and other forms of financial aid.” (Tuition-Free College Is Critical to Our Economy). These small steps could lead to better college experiences and have a lot of benefits. With California and Tennessee making these small steps it could benefit everyone for the better. If we make schools public why not college?

Finally, college is important to only a small percentage of people because not everyone goes to college.“We already offer free education to the children of the rich from kindergarten through 12th grade. A college education should similarly be available to all. Not everyone goes to college or necessarily needs to, as Buttigieg has been pointing out, but that’s the point of having a public option. It would offer a choice: Enter the workforce or get a high-quality education, regardless of financial resources.” (Covert). The percentage of people actually going to college is 41 percent which is less than half of the people who graduate high school. Why would someone want to go to 4 years of college and struggle to pay for it? Not only that but then just to be in debt when you graduate. And finally when you have a job you cannot spend that money on more important things like a car or a home because it is all being spent on college debt.

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All in all, free college would be very beneficial for today’s society. Students should not pay for college because it puts them in debt, makes graduates struggle to pay for college before they even get a job, and the stress of paying for college and the classes themselves can cause horrible test scores. With college not being free it cost over $30,000 and that’s just your debt. But now with free college someone has to pay that money and that would be spread out to taxpayers. With that money going to taxpayers, the government shouldn’t need to spend $91 billion dollars and we could save $20 billion by making everyone pay taxes on it. This idea is so good there are plenty of countries that have college free and there are so far two states that are pushing for free college. And why would you take something like a college education and make people spend the next few years after graduating from college struggling to pay for anything with all of the debt they are in? That is why college should be free.

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