Pro: Should College Be Free?

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Shylee Simon

For many years, the topic of whether or not College should be free has caught the eye of many students, politicians, and parents. Should college finances and student loans cease to exist? Should college be something that everyone has an equal opportunity at? The answer to these questions is simply every student deserves an equal opportunity at a higher education, and money should not get in the way of that. 

First and foremost, it is important to acknowledge the current costs of college. Prestigious universities such as Harvard, Columbia, and Yale all round to an average of about $55,000 a year for tuition. That doesn’t even include things like housing, textbooks and food.  College tuition, in general, can range from $20,000 to $75, 000, out of state. Most low income families and  students in general do not meet these financial standards. The current cost of college should not deprive intelligent kids of an education. Federal Data shows 3.9 million students dropped out of college with debt in 2015 and 2016. If college was  free or cheaper, this would allow more  students to go to and stay in college. This would result in more kids continuing with higher education, allowing more high paying jobs to open  up and therefore boost the economy. 

In current society, the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.  If lower income students take out a student loan to afford tuition, they will end up in thousands and thousands of dollars of debt. According to a Student Loan Debt Statistic for 2021, Students after graduating college end up “with an average debt of $29,900”.  Data shows that an average student’s current interest rate for student loan debt is 4.30%. With a 5.8% interest rate on $30,000 of student loans, a borrower would pay about $9,600 in interest throughout 10 years. This is counterproductive, as for most people it is extremely difficult to accumulate wealth while still trying to pay off college tuition. Education should not require someone to invest their entire life’s savings. 

According to The Case Against Student Loan Forgiveness by Preston Cooper, tuition inflation has risen at a faster rate than the cost of medical services, child care, and housing. Colleges continue to raise their tuition prices simply because they can. Colleges claim the money is needed for the surge in demand, an increase in financial aid, a lack of state funding, a need for more faculty members and money to pay them as well as ballooning student services. The prominent issue is that the total all this is not even close to the price of tuition; but much lower.[Creative and analytical thinking]  skills are both taught and honed with a college education. If more people could attend college for free, then the workforce will expand,” says online college The University of The People.

Education is a vital part of society, and every student must have an equal chance at an education. By solving this college tuition dilemma, we can ensure the poor do not have to ‘stay poor’. Without fear of constant debt and unfair advantages for the rich, more innovative and experienced students will join the modern workforce. A cheaper college education will produce  a more educated nation and an overall more efficient and productive society.

Sources: 

Student Loan Hero. “A look at the shocking student loan debt statistics for 2019.” (2019).

Helhoski, Anna. Nerd Wallet “Current Student Loan Interest Rates and How They Work” September 3, 2020