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College Tuition: Free Or not

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Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

According to Nitro College, Americans now owe more than $1.53 trillion in student loan debt. Many students struggle to maintain good grades along with trying to work either full-time or part-time to pay off school. Some people don’t even get the opportunity to attend college because they aren’t financially stable enough. Everyone deserves the opportunity to get a college education, no matter their economic situation. In a Lend EDU survey, it was found that 51% of students dropped out of college due to financial issues. There are many reasons why college tuition should be free. Due to these findings, many people, including myself believe that public college should be free to everyone serious about furthering their education.

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People go to college to pursue a career they’re passionate about so they can live a financially stable and happy life. In many circumstances, many people don’t get the opportunity to attend college due to not being able to afford it. Although someone can find a good career that doesn’t need a college education, it may not be in the career path they want. There is a lot of government help to pay for college, including FAFSA which includes pell grants and cal grants to help students with the cost of college. Although there’s financial aid, sometimes it may not cover the complete cost to attend, let alone other personal expenses students may have. Financial Aid is given based on your parent’s earnings of the year, but many parents don’t help pay for their kids. If a parent’s earnings are above $55,000 and they still don’t have enough or can’t help pay for college the entire cost falls on the students to pay with no aid. They are then forced to take out student loans that have varied interest rates, or they have to work while in school to make payments.

Many people argue that the hopes of making public college free are simply unrealistic. People are worried that it will cause many issues, like overcrowding, higher competition in career fields, and higher taxes for everyone. The money to fund free college has to come from somewhere. Overall there would be negatives to making college free but there are much more positives that can come from free college. It could lead to new levels of innovation or even more economic benefits and much more. As a whole, the public would be much more educated, where everyone can make a much more informed decision when voting for political candidates or political issues. Nowadays education is required for most jobs, with the success of jobs comes economic growth for the nation.

Throughout high school, we were told to have good grades and be involved in extracurricular activities because that’s what colleges liked to see. Many students work extremely hard and have amazing grades but because they come from a low-income household, they either opt-out of furthering their education or end up at a community college when they deserved to go to a better school despite their inability to pay tuition. This wouldn’t be an issue if the cost of college tuition wasn’t so expensive, the cost keeps rising as the years go by. Even lowering college tuition would be a great help to students, imagine free education? It would open endless opportunities to many people, from young adults to older adults that just want to further their education.

The price of college has been increasing at a rapid rate for several years now, according to the National Center for Education Statistics the average cost to attend a public university is $19,000 a year. The past generations went through college and graduation with barely any debt, some even had no debt at all. Nowadays the majority of college students graduate with $20,000 to $30,000 in student debt. The cost to attend college is rising at a much higher rate than wages are so it is making it much more difficult to come up with the money to pay for college and loans. Student loan debt went from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.4 trillion in 2017. This debt would lower significantly with free tuition or even lowering the cost of tuition would greatly help the national debt.

Many countries offer free college tuition like Norway which offers free tuition at public universities, Finland and Sweden offer free tuition to doctoral degrees or even countries like Mexico and Brazil where they only have students pay registration fees. In France students usually, only end up paying a few hundred dollars since for some their tuition is based on family income. Many Americans study in different countries to pay much more affordable tuition rates compared to the cost in the United States. These concepts are something the United States should take after when it comes to education. These countries pay for college tuition because they see it as an investment for the future of their countries, in hopes of having better economic growth. Norway specifically offers free college for everyone even if you’re from there or not, the only downside is that the cost of living is relatively high compared to other countries. It is a compromise you have to make for getting a free education.

Technically nothing is free, someone has to pay for the free college tuition. In the end, it would be the taxpayers paying the money, which isn’t unrealistic at all. Increasing taxes for the wealthy millionaires and billionaires would come up with a significant amount of money to pay for tuition. The government can also cut down on other expenses like military budget, international affairs, and many others.

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