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Anyone who has ever attended college or thought about attending college has noticed that participating in any sort of higher education is costly. Many families are able to put their kids through school with the help of student loans, scholarships, and their own income, but this isn’t a reality everyone can achieve. It is time that colleges were made free to all who want to attend. Free tuition would allow more people the choice to go to college instead of straight into the workforce, resulting in an overall more educated country. A better-educated population could result in smarter decision-making at every level of society, which could lead to faster progress in solving our most difficult, collective challenges. It’s an easier task to pay back to our communities when we have well paying jobs. With such high tuition prices, the medical field, for example, loses potential doctors who could no longer afford to finish their education and had to drop out.
Free tuition could potentially take some of the stress out of school as students are able to focus completely on their studies instead of how they’re going to pay for their classes. As a result, more of them might graduate on time, ready to take on important jobs in their communities. Colleges would likely have higher graduation rates as the burden of tuition is taken out of the equation. It would benefit the economy and there would be fewer Americans who would need to seek other forms of public assistance. The way many families are forced to go about paying for college are Scholarships are few and far between, and there’s not enough for everyone and most don’t come close to paying full tuition. Financial aid is beneficial to many families but only goes so far and often doesn’t take into account special circumstances, but relies solely on a families income. Many of America’s top-performing high school students never apply to the most challenging colleges and universities even though they have the ability to succeed at them. Students from low-income backgrounds often end up pursuing less prestigious schools that offer less opportunities that cater to their interests because they’re more affordable. And that helps create a widening gap between wealthier families and those that are less affluent.
Free education is beneficial to all. High prices in turn keep all but the elite few out of the education system, widening other forms of oppression. Graduating with high amounts of student loan debt has been shown to reduce a person’s chances of owning a home, getting married, having children, and accumulating wealth. If people weren’t forced to start off in debt or stay stuck in a low-wage job due to lack of education, they would be more likely to pursue their talents and the things they’re good at, in turn achieving the lives they ultimately want. That could lead to happier people. And happier people could lead to a happier, more prosperous nation as a whole Technically, free college isn’t really free, taxpayers do end up having to pay for it in some capacity. But some economists believe that every American who wants to could go to college for free if the federal and state governments made a few reasonable changes. First off, we could close corporate tax loopholes that allow companies to legally avoid paying their full share of taxes and crack down on wasteful government spending. As well, increasing the tax rates for America’s wealthiest millionaires and billionaires would aid in free college tuition. We could decrease the budget in other areas, such as the military.
Lastly, it would prove beneficial to divert most of the public money currently spent on student financial aid toward making all public colleges and universities tuition-free instead. Free tuition isn’t an entirely new concept as free college, in Europe especially, has proven to be a popular idea. Countries with free college tuition obviously have lower levels of students loan debt compared to those in the United States and the best way to find out if this could also work well in the U.S. is to implement it ourselves. However, Oregon and a few other states have already implemented free community college programs into their education system. Because of the success these programs have shown, many other states are looking at legislation that would allow community colleges to be tuition free. So free public college might not be such a radical idea.
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