The issue of college education and its cost is something that has been at the forefront of politics in various countries for decades. Some countries have free or highly subsidized higher education programs. Other countries, including the United States of America and the Great Britain, allow institutions to charge fairly large amounts for their courses of study. .
The Politics of Higher Education
Education and university fees are always a key part of the three major parties in the UK government. It was also a key campaign issue for Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator who ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination in the 2016 US election. Sanders holds the view that public college and university education should become tuition-free. Education would be paid for by enforcing extra taxes on financial transactions. Many supported this notion, many others did not.
The prospect of making college education completely free for all students is one that could carry many obvious benefits. It is also one that comes with obstacles and valid arguments against. To help you achieve more of a rounded understanding of the topic, here are some of the key points that highlight the argument opposing college tuition fees being abolished.
Issues With Graduated Students
Many believe that to make college education completely free from this point would be an unfair decision for those students who have already graduated. They are paying off loans that they accrued in order to be able to receive that same education.
The new system would also include the fact that said graduated students would now be required to pay more taxes in their working life to accommodate this free college experience.
In many people’s eyes, this is not the way to reward hardworking students who have just come graduated from college or university.
There Is Already Plenty Of Help Available
College tuition fees alone can be very expensive without the additional living costs. There are already numerous federal programs to help students from lower income backgrounds achieve their higher education dreams. Community colleges offer degree studies for a fraction of the cost in comparison to certain institutions.
There are also plenty of merit-based and other forms of scholarship opportunities for students all over the country. Qualifications to meet the criteria based on academic excellence or sporting talents or other prowess and interests can result in large scholarship awards.
Choice Would Be Limited
There is an argument that making public higher education free would actually limit the choices for a student’s preferred college or university.
Many people believe that one of the rewards of working harder and making more money is better college options for their children. In effect that their efforts should give their offspring an advantage when it comes to being able to pick the best institutions.
There is a theory that making all colleges free would eliminate the incentive to work as hard as possible to get the best rewards. This would not only be for the students applying but also for the adults who are working towards funding their family’s futures.
More Government Control
The degree of control that government has in all areas of life is always a contentious subject. Republicans especially, do not subscribe to the ‘big government’ style of politics. Many people believe that if higher education was to be fully funded by federal taxes, the government would then gain greater control over the services that colleges and universities provide.
The fact is that blanket federal control has rarely ever improved things when it comes to education. Such control over a college system would most likely lead to a much more rigid, unresponsive and bureaucratic system for students and professors.
With students and their families paying for their own tuition, government’s hand in the situation is much less strong. Programs can be tailored to individual students, classes, counties, and states; anything to make the education experience more fulfilling for individual circumstances.
Negative Effects From The Public
Though the initial idea of ‘free’ college is no doubt an appealing one, the truth of the matter is education still needs to be paid for. Essentially that would mean tax payers footing the bill. Increasing personal taxation to pay the huge countrywide tuition bill could cause unrest.
Tax paying citizens who have no direct links to the college experience in work or in their personal lives might feel aggrieved.In order to appease these people, the government might be persuaded to eliminate courses that these tax payers don’t deem to be ‘worth their money’.
As a result of this public displeasure, students might begin to see more liberal, unusual degrees and courses disappear from curriculum in favor of more practical, traditional subjects that tax payers deem to be acceptable. Once you start relying on somebody else to pay your way through your education, then you open yourself up to the prospect of that education being dictated to you or limits being placed on it.
Not Everybody Wants To Go To College
We must remember the simple fact that not all high school students want to attend college. Some people find their calling and talents in more practical work environments from an early age. There would be pressure because the path to college would be the next logical step after high school.
They would feel compelled to another few years in an environment they feel they do not flourish in. Some people are just not that academically minded. Forcing them to go to college just because it is free can not only be a waste of their time, but it can also dilute the experience for those who truly want it.
Overall, there are perfectly valid arguments for both sides of the debate. Hopefully these points have helped you understand the idea of why college should not be free.