Argumentative Essay

College Should be Free in the US

The United States do not offer a free education program for colleges or in graduate levels. The political, social, and economic pressure to have education at the college level to be declared free have gone on for years. While many argue that such a move would be a mistake especially concerning lowering education quality, there is hope that college education will be free. For the pro-free college education, the move would be a game changer especially in supporting the American workforce in the future. Also, the free education would ensure that the gap between the rich and the poor is immensely reduced because equal opportunities will be availed to the population. Education policymakers believe that an educated population is likely to make good choices in matters of jobs and lifestyle. In any case, studies in countries with free education imply an increased healthy population. The following paper discussed reasons why college education should be made free in the United States based on facts.

For starters, education is the surest way of accessing opportunities in the job market. Career people only compete with others through the level of knowledge, skills, and competency acquired through higher education.  In emphasizing the importance of having an educated population, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson made remarks of why the country would benefit from an enlightened people than the ignorant (Henson 5). In this regard, the president referred to an educated populace for the democracy to thrive. It would be disastrous for ignorant people not to participate in the most critical issues of a country. In fact, the president viewed such ignorance due to lack of education as an enemy of freedom.  From a historical perspective, the American system was and is still to a large extent modeled to suit the European setting and curriculum. In recent years, the current president of the United States, Barrack Obama have insinuated that the only way to improve higher education in the country is by making it free for everybody. To President Obama, free education guarantees prosperity to the current and future generations.

Secondly, the current tuition and student debt will continue to increase if a policy to abolish the system is not established. Recent statistics show that tuition fees have risen in almost every state. For example, the tuition for college education for Maryland and Ohio for the 2007-2008 academic year have increased by 3.1 and 4.2 percent respectively (Mitchell, Vincent and Michael n.p.). Scholars and policy makers argue that the increased tuition fee is triggered by the reduction of state funding and budget cuts. Interestingly, the government funding of college education does not affect college fees because it is in the form of subsidies.

The increased student debt is another reason it has been difficult in establishing why complaints against college fees increase every day. Students are now getting involved in loan fraud cases. Such cases are frustrating considering that excess student loan does not apply as intended. Investigations from various quarters suggest that people are applying for student loans to pay for rent and food. With a free college education, there would be no need for student loans. In this cases, plundering and wastages of government sponsored loans would end.

The example of religious-affiliated colleges shows how free tuition can be a reality in the United States. Usually, such colleges allow free tuition in exchange for a trade of service such as part-time jobs or unpaid work in the college. In fact, such arrangements have been possible in countries like Norway and Finland where full or near scholarship is offered to qualifying students who are ready to agree on trade of service duty program.

The government expenditure on for-profit colleges regards billions of dollars which are unnecessary and wastage of taxpayers’ money. Economic experts argue that at least thirty billion dollars is the cost of making college education free. In this case, colleges with low graduation rates will see an influx of students and record a low college dropout rates.

The wastages in government institutions due to tax credits and deductions are a good source of making education free in colleges (Samuels 120). For years, there have been complaining that only the wealthy people access government subsidies for college tuition. In fact, such a system has allowed for-profit colleges to charge higher fees since rich students can obtain merit aid and tax breaks offered by the government.  With the government discontinuing tax subsidies, tax breaks, and institutional aid, colleges would stabilize tuition fees.

Targeting the college dropouts and increasing the graduation rates in colleges and universities is a major reason tuition fees should be abolished. It is a common feature that students from poor backgrounds always drop out of college because of the high tuition fees. In many cases, students are forced to work part-time to cater for school fees a scenario that does not allow the student to graduate in three to four years of studying.

It is with great concern that one notices how high tuition fees continue to undermine the goals of a college education. Once the students are charged high fees, the goal of finding a high-paying job becomes the ultimate goal, therefore, obscuring the intention of going to school. Normally, the high-paying jobs are for offsetting student loans. For starters, the broader goals of going to college do not envision students acquiring well-paying jobs but being enlightened to solve societal problems. In this context, one can conclude that using money as the incentive for a college education is a bad idea.

The college education in the United States allows for wealth inequality because such amenities are not affordable for students from underprivileged communities (Ladson-Billings 5). For example, people from black and Hispanic communities are some of the most disadvantaged minority communities in the United States. It is widely known that majority of the poor people come from the specified communities because of historical injustices such as racial discrimination. Also, people from these communities are susceptible to income inequality which is relatable to unequal education attainment. It is the high time that colleges admitted students on the merit of having high SAT scores not ability paying huge tuition fees. For years, this has proved that colleges are a major contributor to wealth inequality in the country. For this reason, it is advisable to offer equal opportunities for acquiring wealth to everyone in the society without charging any fee. In fact, the continued support for privatized college education has seen a sharp increase of unequal wealth in the society because of the associated high tuition fees.

The manner in which the government has allowed colleges to charge high tuition fees shows that education in the United States no longer serves a public mission (Samuels 122). In this context, college teaching in the country is now operation like business corporations without regard to public good but profits.  Perhaps the best description of this point is to analyze how faculties negotiate for high salaries and entirely undermine transparency as required in public institutions. The intention of keeping remunerations for professors a secret and private deals in colleges justifies the need for ensuring that the public benefits from an education system free from monetary manipulation. In this regard, making college education free will result in standardized remuneration for faculties, therefore, no need for increasing tuition fees.

The use of modern technology as seen in online classes proves that education is now viewed as a consumer product (Samuels 113). Usually, such a perception has made it possible for the for-profit colleges to exploit individuals who do not want to go to interact with professionals. Interestingly, the strategy is now used by public colleges as a way of competing with private institutions, increasing enrollment, and making profits. In the long-term, such arrangements are one of the leading causes of dwindling education quality countrywide since the goal of college level is no longer to provide an enlightened population. Therefore, making college education a free amenity will ensure that the public good is restored, and government funds are well utilized to benefit the rich and the have-nots.

Making education free at the college level would improve working conditions for the instructors (Samuels 123). With the abolishment of tuition fees, the government can improve the living standards and working conditions of the faculty. In this context, the instructors will be assured of job security. The intention of such a strategy is to ensure costs and budgets in colleges are controlled and devoid of manipulation to make profits. On the other hand, the faculty maintains a good quality of the instructions and the learning environment.

Another major reason college education should be free is to reduce the cost of conducting research (Samuels 97). Currently, the cost of doing research regardless of type and level is because professors do not get enough challenge from the students. The increased graduate students from the universities are a source of cheap labor in the research fields. For the starters, students are eligible to work as research assistants and future investment in the research disciplines. The diversity of students and graduates through free college would mean an innovations and technology at a reduced cost. The fact that governments and corporations are interested in innovations from college graduates make it easier to use state funds for building research and technology hubs and laboratories. Consequently, such an arrangement emanating from free college can spur economic growth.

The success of the No Child Left Behind policy can transform college education in the United States (Slavin 16). In this context, the quality of education will not focus on the status and reputation of teachers and school ranks but effective teaching methods at the college level. Therefore, students with diverse backgrounds and abilities have access to college education without being limited by unnecessary college accreditation that is a factor in determining tuition fees.

On the contrary, some people feel that college should not be free. The free college opponents believe that the cost of free education will be a tremendous burden on the taxpayers. Such sentiments are echoed by people who feel that the middle class and the wealthy are not obliged to fund the college education because they worked hard for their money. In another rejoinder, the notion that free education translates into high graduation rate, and enrollment or school attendance is not entirely accurate. There are cases where students will still drop out of college irrespective of the system offering free tuition. Also, the free college policy would have an adverse impact on the economy is not only based on fear but unpredictability of the same in the long-term. The idea of free education may not succeed considering that the national government debt is already on a record of 18 trillion dollars. Instead free college education with a triple effect of the national debt, the government should consider ways of establishing budget control programs in the education sector. Irrespective of such opposition, it ‘s hard to write off the idea of feed college education.

In conclusion, the free college education is a noble idea that might come to fruition in the future. The idea offers opportunities to eligible college students who do not have money to access the necessary amenity. For sure, free education is a prerequisite of a healthy and enlightened population. The opportunities for a free college education mean that everyone has a chance to share, access and contribute to the wealth of a country. If the idea is implemented in the United States, there is a high probability that college enrollment and graduation rates will increase. The benefits of the society, government, and corporations because of the college graduates are significantly high.


Works Cited

Henson, T., Kenneth. “Foundations for learner-centered education: A knowledge base.” Education 124.1 (2003): 5. Print.

Ladson-Billings, Gloria. “From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in US schools.” Educational researcher 35.7 (2006): 3-12. Print.

Mitchell, Michael, Vincent Palacios, and Michael Leachman. “States are still funding higher education below pre-recession levels.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (2014). Print.

Samuels, Robert. Why Public Higher Education Should be Free: How to Decrease Cost and Increase Quality at American Universities. Rutgers University Press, 2013. Print.

Slavin, Robert E. “Evidence-based education policies: Transforming educational practice and research.” Educational researcher 31.7 (2002): 15-21. Print.








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