The skyrocketing costs of modern higher education are a serious threat to national economy and well-being. Students who are presented with formidable barriers on their way to college, such as the need to take time to complete their degree, staying out of the workforce for the time period, and serious entrance tests, have to cope with a problem that is insurmountable for many: the cost of higher education.
Although in the US student loans are available, this is a serious consideration that may prevent many from getting an education. It seems feasible that students are provided with a no-cost public college education in the way it is done in many European countries. This policy would have many benefits for the labor market and educational system.
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1. Finding Ways to Finance Public education
What is the way to finance public education? The money is typically raised through the taxation system involving federal and local taxes. This setup involves a more equal distribution of the financial burden implied in the higher education system.
After all, the advantages of higher education are later consumed by the whole society as educated specialists are working in many spheres of society for the benefit of all. Students who are investing time, effort and money in their education are not only toiling for themselves – they are leveraging their talents to create a better world for all.
However, when the system is financed out of funds provided by students and their parents, the distribution of burden is unequal since it lies exclusively on the shoulders of those who are studying and ignores the positive social effects of education. Education is a communal affair and it should be treated as such by all relevant parties, who should attempt to turn it into a powerful vehicle for social development. Providing a public education out of public funds will ensure a more equitable distribution of the financial responsibility for supporting college education.
2. Giving Talented Students a Chance
Rising tuition costs place heavy demands on family and personal budgets, making financial background of a student an important factor in determining the decision to go to college. As of now, the constant rise over the past decade gives no indication of stopping. Quite soon, education may be affordable (excluding students loans) only to a select few. In fact, policy-makers have already expressed concern about the steep rise in costs.
The National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education established in 1997 stated that “the federal and state governments may elect to impose price controls on higher education” given uncontrollable rise in tuition fees (Martin 2002:88).
In determining the factors for financing and tuition, society should ask itself what it really wants in terms of enrolment in colleges: a more affluent or a more talented class. If the answer is the latter, enrolment clearly has to be determined by intellectual ability and leadership potential, not by the ability to cover the costs. If we take affluence and talent to be unrelated, there is no reason to desire the enrolment of students from wealthier families.
Quite the other way round, wealthy parents may have ways to promote their children other than through education, and if they have connections, it is possible to make it even to a top position with an online degree or even without any.
Thus, free college education is a way to harness the potential of all talented students regardless of their parents’ financial possibilities. In contemporary American society, individuals from needy backgrounds may rely on education as their only way to success. If society denies them this way, they will never gain a chance in those jobs that could reveal their full leadership potential.
3. Are Fees Inevitable?
Despite students’ protests against costs of higher education, education experts continue to insist that fees are inescapable. As reasons for increases in college tuition, they cite the need to maintain an adequate economic basis including development of new technology in universities and colleges. Some college officials insist that students should be happy with fees because they are “fire-sale bargain considering what it actually costs the school to educate an undergrad each year” (Sausner 2001:20).
Evaluating those arguments, one should keep in mind what should be the ultimate purpose of education. If this is taken to be the benefit of the overall society, if should be structured in such a way as to ensure this maximum benefit for all. For example, imposing taxes in order to finance education will gather more money from the rich and less from the poor. Putting these funds into tuition-free education, the government will give all equal access so that cost is not an issue.
As a result, the education provides the nation with more efficient professionals who will be able to contribute to economic growth. Tax payments can be maintained at levels that correspond to the needs for technological and other development of colleges. Surely, this means higher taxes, but this will be offset by absence of tuition for citizens.
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All high school graduates should be given a chance to get a free college education. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/all-high-school-graduates-should-be-given-a-chance-to-get-a-free-college-education/