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CollegeEducation Should be Universal and Free

Fordecades now, there has been an intense deliberation as to whethercollege education should be free or if learners should continue topay exorbitant fees to acquire edification. Some people argue thatthe current system of higher education is effective but othersbelieve that it needs some improvement in one way or another. Collegeaffordability has been a top concern not only for politicians butalso for America as a nation. According to an article published inthe America Magazine, it is unfortunate that both Democratic andRepublican conventions did not deeply discuss the issue of highereducation in the just ended presidential elections (1). Free collegeeducation is a necessity because the current economic security of theAmerican people needs knowledge and expertise to tackle the social,environmental, and technological confrontations of the 21stcentury (America Magazine 1). College education should be free forall because it will not only benefit the individuals, but also thewhole country in terms of improved economy, better social relationsand innovation, which will determine the nation’s sustainabledevelopment and future. Educationis the foundation for complete social, political, and economicparticipation thus, college education should be universal and freeto all people irrespective of their status.


Whenthe cost of attending college or any other higher institution is toohigh, many students especially the minority and the poor cannotafford to pursue higher education. Consequently, most students fromthe minority and disadvantaged families fail to apply to the mostinspiring and reputable universities and colleges despite having thecapacity to succeed in such challenging establishments. Although theyare knowledgeable and capable of undertaking even the most difficultcourses, they shy away from applying hence, fail to follow theircareers or attain a stable life (Hurst 19). Most known collegescharge expensive fees especially for marketable courses, for example,medicine, nursing, technology, and engineering, which forces them togo for the more inexpensive and less prohibitive schools. The lack ofa universal education has widened the gap between the affluent andthe underprivileged since it is overly difficult for the poor toattend the more selective and expensive schools without ascholarship. Therefore, as Hellerexplicates, free college learning will ensure that such students getaccess to higher education, which will help them acquire the skillsand knowledge needed to get good paying jobs (97). Education shouldbe handy to all people to ensure that they obtain equal treatment andpursue their careers effectively.

Auniversal and accessible education is the most effective andcomprehensive way to ensure that the country has the requiredtechnical skills. By making it free, the government would ensure thatbright students take courses of their choice and enhance theirskills. In other words, the free college provides both private andpublic benefit (Heller 102). Moreover, free college will not onlybenefit the students who will take advantage of it but the entirenation. This is because many of today`s jobs demand knowledge andadvanced technical skills from colleges and universities. Therefore,a better-educated workforce would be more innovative in driving theeconomic growth of the nation. Making the education universal wouldincrease the literacy level and result in the development of smartdecision-making techniques and processes throughout America hence,quick progress in attaining objectives and resolving the existingcollective challenges.

Freecollege for all will ensure that more people are educated andequipped to take good-paying jobs hence live comfortably. Therefore,it means that billions of additional dollars will be circulatingthroughout the economy since people will have more money to spend. Onthe other hand, borrowing will be low and hence the nation will havelittle or no debts (Sanders 2). Such a trend could mean that thegovernment would earn more from tax revenues, which would be a bigboost in funding free public colleges. Moreover, the issue of freecollege does not only bring economic benefits. Sanders points outthat free college education will ensure a stronger democracy becauseit will allow all young people reach their full potential regardlessof their economic backgrounds (8). However, the high cost of collegeeducation has been denying the poor and the minority to achieve theiracademic dreams consequently widening the gap between the rich andthe poor(Carter, Locks, and Winkle-Wagner 105).Without free college, America might become more socially divided andthis calls for U.S. leaders to come up with policies to increaseaccess to public colleges, not only to support democracy but mostimportantly to promote equality and good social relations among theAmerican people.

Counterargumentand rebuttal

Opponentsof free college argue that it would be very expensive for both thefederal and state government to maintain such an initiative for along time. As a result, the American people will be forced to payhigher taxes to sustain free college, a move that could hurt theAmerican economy since people will have less to spend or invest.Kelly writes that the call for free college would strain the publicbudget further (4). With college being free for all, there will be aninflux of many students in these colleges, forcingmany schools tocreate wait lists. Consequently, more finances and resources will beneeded hence straining the state budgets. When state budgets arestrained, many colleges might opt to cut and decrease access to theprograms that the students prefer.

Freeeducation is also associated with other economic spillovers andattributes. Apart from Americans paying higher taxes, the governmentwould need to invest in some other ways, for example, increasedinfrastructure developments to sustain the program. Moreover, thecurrent variables in the American education system illustrate thatthe move would not necessarily bear fruit. Currently, America has oneof the globe’s educated labor force despite the expensive nature ofcollege education. Some developed nations like America, Japan, andCanada do not need free and universal university education to attainfurther enhancements in economic and social mobility (Carteret al. 105). These countries require greater engagements especiallyin calling for people to undertake technical education and coursesthat do not require multipronged variables.

Theopponents of free college do not believe that more people withdegrees will result in more private and public benefits. They arguethat when there are more people with college degrees, the value ofthose certificates decrease leading to more underemployed workersbased on qualifications. Kelly argues that rather than spend scarcemoney implementing free college that might create problems forAmericans, policymakers should instead allocate resources to onlyneedy students who need it (8). According to many people who opposethe idea of free college for all, a valuable degree is worth theinvestment even if one has to pay something for it.


Fromthe discussion, it is quite clear that college should be free for allbecause it will not only benefit the learners but the whole nation.Education is a fundamental aspect in improving engagement andparticipation of people in the economic development of the country.Making learning free would help build progressive and comprehensiveattachments hence, the attainment of prosperity. Policies are neededto ensure college is free for all to equip students, especially fromthe poor backgrounds to acquire good-paying jobs. The free collegewill not only ensure a better-educated workforce but also willpromote economic prosperity of the country. Moreover, America as anation is based on philosophies of equality and democracy for all.Therefore, free education will ensure all students have equal accessto higher education, which will promote stronger democracy and goodsocial relations among the American people.


Carter,Deborah Faye, Angela Mosi Locks, and Rachelle Winkle-Wagner. &quotFromwhen and where I enter: Theoretical and empirical considerations ofminority students’ transition to college.&quot&nbspHighereducation: Handbook of theory and research.Springer Netherlands, 2013. 93-149.

Heller,Donald E. &quotThe Role of Finances in Postsecondary Access andSuccess.&quot&nbspThestate of college access and completion: Improving college success forstudents from underrepresented groups&nbsp(2013):96-114.

Hurst,Allison L. &quotCollege and the working class.&quot&nbspCollegeand the Working Class.Sense Publishers, 2012. 17-42.

KellyP. Andrew. “TheProblem Is That Free College Isn’t&nbspFree.” TheNew York Times,January 20, 2016.http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/01/20/should-college-be-free/the-problem-is-that-free-college-isn`t-free. Accessed 19 November 2016

Sanders,Bernie. “Makecollege free for all.” TheWashington Post,October 22, 2015.https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bernie-sanders-america-needs-free-college-now/2015/10/22/a3d05512-7685-11e5-bc80091021aeb69_story.html?utm_term=.a390f4ed6013. Accessed 19 November2016.

AmericaMagazine. “College Free for All?”The National Catholic Review.March 7, 2016, http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/college-free-all.Accessed 18 November 2016.