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In recent discussions of free college education, a controversial issue has been whether community colleges should be tuition free to all, no matter then economical background. On the one hand, some argue that it is good idea and would allow more potential students to obtain a higher education. From this perspective, it would allow them to pursue in Associate’s degree within a two year period at a community college, then making them qualified to work and continue to purse higher degrees. On the other hand, however, others argue that it is not cost-effective because it would increase taxes. Taxpayer’s do not want to pay for students attending college and not graduating within the two years and continue to use tax dollars, until they finish a degree. According to this view, free college tuition is frowned upon. In sum, then, the issue is whether college tuition should be free or should students who want to further their education not be able to do so because of the cost. My own view is that a two year tuition would be beneficial in increasing students to pursue a higher education and allowing them the opportunity to better themselves. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Though I concede that free college tuition will increase taxpayers cost. I still maintain that it is a great idea and needs further review. For example, High School levels, from 11th-12th grade are considered a form of free higher education. Then, why not provide 13th and 14th higher education free of cost at a two year college. Most students after graduating high school, expect to attend college and many are unable to do so because of the cost. Federal grants and scholarships do help with some of the cost, but there are extra expenses such as out of state tuition, room and board, and personal expenses. “In the school year for 2018-2019, the national yearly average for public community colleges was $4,834 for in state students and $8,593 for out of state students. For private colleges, the average yearly tuition is $15, 483.”
Free college tuition has been an ongoing debate amongst government figures for several years now. Recently, when Bernie Sanders was running for the presidential campaign, he made it a high priority to focus on free education. He understood and raised his voice on how many students are graduating with huge sums of college debt and will take ten plus years to pay it off. Many people became worried with the word “free” because it didn’t necessarily mean it would be free, someone would have to pay for this free education. “Sanders introduced a bill that would abolish tuition and fees at public 4 year colleges and universities for students from households making less than $125,000 year, and would make community colleges tuition free for students from all income levels”. This bill would cut down student loan interest rates by half and allow students to re-finance their loans if needed. “The federal government makes approximately $70 billion in a 10 year period from student loan programs. Sanders estimated that the cost of his program would be $47 billion a year, this would cover 67% of the $70 billion cost for public colleges and universities. States would then cover the remaining 33%.” It as a well-thought out plan but unfortunately denied by congress.
From an ethical perspective, it is unfair that people who come from low-income households will miss the opportunity of obtaining a higher education. All students should be allowed opportunities that will help them succeed and eventually they can contribute back to the economy once their degree is obtained. For example, a potential student has a career goal of becoming a surgeon and is unable to do so because of cost, this is an important career and in high demand, unfortunately he may never be a surgeon and instead end up working odd jobs. Free education, especially free higher education, may open up a series of opportunities that some people would otherwise be unable to enjoy.
I myself know firsthand what the cost of pursuing a higher education consist of. I was the first one in my family to attend college. My goal was to become a Registered Nurse. When I graduated high school I enrolled at my local community college and had to withdraw due to not being unable to afford the costs. I was an in state student, came from a low-income family, worked full time and did not receive any form of federal aid because I was not a U.S. Citizen. I enrolled in a vocational technology center and pursued a degree in Licensed Practical Nurse. the total for that program was approximately $7,000 for and 18 month course. I graduated debt free, because my high school provided a 3 year free tuition scholarship to students that graduated and attended the vocational school. I was able to start working immediately and make a better living for myself. I enrolled in college again to continue to further my career field. I pay for community college and work full time. Unfortunately this is the situation for many students which increases the rate of how many students drop college due to cost. “According to a recent survey from LendEDU and FundingU, only 45% of students were able to finance their college education on their own in the 2017-18 academic year.” “Even worse, the survey found that 51 percent of students who couldn’t finance it dropped out, and nearly 40 percent of affected students reduced their course hours.”
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