Argumentative Essay against Free College Tuition

Abstract

Some people have been advocating for college tuition fees to be free, but they fail to understand its implication. In the text below, there is an argument as to why college should not be accessible. The main reason for opposing the elimination of tuition is that that expense will be transferred to taxpayers. Therefore there is nothing like a tuition-free college education. Another point spoken of in the paper is how having many people attend college can negatively affect society. Most people would not agree with this, but after reading this compilation, they are likely to change their minds. The text is not lenient to only opposing free college tuition; it also sheds some light on the benefits of fee-free higher education. Children that come from low-income earning families drop out of college often because of tuition. If the free college proposal were to be passed, this group of the population would greatly benefit.

Argumentative Against Free College Tuition

College students in most countries are typically given loans, tuition subsidies, and living grants by the government. It is through the combination of these benefits that most students manage to finance their education. Some people argue that living grand and tuition subsidies add up to too little of the students’ benefit bundle, whereas public loans constitute much of it. And because of this, many individuals have started uniting into movements that advocate for free college. There are various interpretations of what free college implies. According to some individuals, it is subsidizing tuition to zero. Others want it to include the provision of a living grant. There is yet another group that thinks it means schooling subsidies, living grants, and even subsidized work-study jobs, allowing students to leave college with negligible or no debt at all. The question of whether college tuition should be free is classical with debatable and complex answers.  The current student debt crisis and the affordability of higher learning education have always been the centre-stage subjects during presidential campaigns in most nations. What this means is that free tuition is an issue that affects or concerns many citizens. College tuition should not be free because that cost will still be impounded on the citizens and make their life even more difficult.

           The main reason for being against free college tuition is that it will be taken advantage of by students from well-off backgrounds at the expense of the poor. The wealthy are uncompelling targets for Public transfers because they already have disproportionately prosperous futures. Approximately 20 percent of children from low-income families in the United States can attend college. For the wealthy, 90 percent of their young adults make it to college (Bruenig, 2015). From these two extremes, it is evident that the rate of college attendance is high for those earning more income. The richer a parent is, the higher the probability of his/her children going to college. Also, for the comparatively few children that go to college, they profoundly cluster in the less selective four-year colleges and cheap two-year community colleges.

Conversely, wealthier children are probable to attend more expensive four-year institutes. Currently, students from the poorest fraction of the U.S. population do not pay a fee at the public colleges and are granted $2300-$3000 annually to sustain their living expenses. Contemporarily rich kids get much fewer tuition and living grant benefits. Considering these class-based differences in present student benefits, institutional selection, and attendance level, if college is made accessible for everyone, then more money will be channelled to students that come from wealthy families (Bruenig, 2015). The provision of student benefits will indeed entice more middle-class and poor people to attend college or join more expensive institutions. However, in the long run, the principal outcome of increasing student benefit generosity will be filling pockets of wealthy undergraduates and their families.

           Another reason why college free tuition should not be supported is its impact on the economy. According to PolitiFact’s findings, 7 out of 10 Americans did not finish their undergraduate degree (Hardiman, 2016). Therefore if the U.S. government was to decide to cater for the cost of higher learning for all its citizens, then a vast population will apply. And this increase in demand will call for colleges to hire more faculty staff, build more classrooms, among other things. For the government to meet this budget, it will have to increase the amount of taxes it charges. Therefore college is not free but rather a shift in cost from students to taxpaying citizens. By raising taxes considerably, in the long run, the expense of higher learning can become detrimental to the health of the U.S. labour market. Recently, Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, issued a proposal on free college tuition. He estimated that it would cost about $750 billion for ten years and wanted it to be paid for by Wall Street. According to Bernie, for his scheme to work, he would impose a 0.05% levy on derivatives, 0.5% fee on bonds, and an average of 0.5% on stock trades (Hardiman, 2016). But according to a report from the Tax Policy Center, this scheme will raise $51 billion only per year, which is far away from the usual cost of $75 billion p.a.

Capping tuition fee-free limits spending on colleges to what the municipal is willing to pay (Kelly, 2016). However, the cost that colleges or institutions incur for each student does not change. Looking back at history, cost only continues to grow, and the influx of national funds may lead extravagant bureaucrats to spend even more. Therefore, educational facilities should initiate policies that make going to college affordable instead of making colleges free.

           Also, the free college proposal would adversely impact the job market. There will be many college graduates applying for limited jobs. As per the law of demand and supply, the more something is available, the less valuable its possession becomes. In this instance, the amount of labour (college graduates) will exceed their demand. Therefore, most employment-seeking youths will be desperate to work at whatever wage, which will make employers start paying a meager salary. The implication of this is that with free college, a bachelor’s degree would be regarded similarly to a current high school diploma.

The level of unemployment will increase in a society that almost everyone has a bachelor’s degree. With such an occurrence, many people will opt not to attend college at all and try alternative means of acquiring skills that might enable them to get jobs. When the number of graduates is few, employers tend to care about their wellbeing. They are valued, and their health and welfare are a priority to the companies they work for. But if there are many graduates in the market, employers will tend to be less concerned about their working conditions and welfare in general.  Therefore to ensure that graduates in the market are appreciated and treated well, their population should not be exceedingly high. 

The main benefit of college free tuition is that it will enable many lower-income students to graduate. Many teenagers drop out not because they no longer want to further their studies but because they are not in a position for their bachelor’s degree (Huelsman, 2015). Workers with a high school diploma are out-earned by college graduates (Hess, 2019). Hess mentions that, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, more than half of the jobs available in America will require applicants to have more than a high school certificate come 2020. Getting rid of tuition will eliminate a reason for not graduating. It would lead to tremendous improvement in college graduation rates. Students will no longer have a reason to drop out in the name of doing a part-time job to raise funds for their education. Some of these students that have been quitting school due to finances have brilliant brains that would have brought creative ideas to the economy. Moreover, as more people can get quality education, civilization spreads widely, reducing the rate of crime. Though a person might not find employment, having a degree puts him at a better place to develop a business or income-generating idea.

Free tuition is not the only means that can be used to get many people to attend college. Of course, other techniques can be used to make higher education affordable even to lower-income earners. Moreover, the idea of having almost everyone with a degree is not that good because it becomes less valuable. Also, since there will be too many graduates, they will tend to all want white-collar jobs leaving the blue-collar jobs sector without workers. There are some jobs that people might look down upon, but they are very crucial.

           Another reason for proposing free college tuition is that student debts will no longer crush the youthful generations. When a college student in America graduates with a loan of less than $10,000, he or she is considered lucky (Andersen, 2016). The average student loan debt is usually $37,000. In countries that do not have tuition, then students’ loan is for books and living expenses. Let us assume that there was no burden of student loan debt after graduation; the graduates would focus on paying mortgages, among other things that contribute to the economy.  Unlike currently, youths are spending better halves of their youthful career days settling debts they incurred throughout college. The elimination of tuition will help teens to work on building their careers immediately after university. Some students did not go to college because they fear to accumulate too much debt. By getting rid of college education fees, more individuals will be enticed to attend.  And in the long run, we will have a well-educated workforce and a population with better analytical thinking skills.

Paying off debt is not a big deal; after all, it is not like the graduates will be making payments for the rest of their lives. It is something that is sorted within a brief span. After which, the individual is free to spend their income as they please. Also, considering the argument that free college tuition will not crush students with debt, they will be crushed with heavy taxations. The elimination of college fees implies that that expense is spread across the taxpayers. Paying a student loan debt is much better compared to paying too much tax because, with taxes, they will always be paid.

Another benefit of college free tuition is the freedom it will give students to take whatever Major they enjoy. Currently, students are guided by the income pursuing a particular course that will generate them. The main reason behind this is the pressure of having to pay back loans as soon as possible. Parents as well tend to push their children into doing only specific Majors, and the main reason is its income. But if there were no tuition, students and parents will be more relaxed in picking a course that does not have a lump sum paycheck but they are passionate about. When an individual has an interest and enjoys what they are studying, there is a high probability of them not giving up regardless of the challenges that may come forth.

Tuition fee is not reason enough to hold a student from doing a major that they want. It is not a must to pursue a course that will lead to a high-paying job to settle a student loan debt. Even if an individual is not earning much, arrangements can be made to pay the debt at intervals. It is always advisable to go for what one is interested in and passionate about. Especially if a loan is being taken to study, then one should pursue something that they genuinely love and will not give up on.

In conclusion, the debate on college free tuition is one that raises different opinions. Most of the benefits of free education are short-term, but it adversely impacts the economy in the long run. Eliminating college tuition only shifts that expense to the citizens and makes their life even more difficult. Therefore other methods of making a college education affordable should be used instead. The truth is that having a degree is not a basic need; neither is it the only means to become successful. Most of the successful individuals in the world are college dropouts. A higher institution’s education is but an alternative stepping stone to opportunities. So those that do not make it to college should not think less of themselves. 

References

Andersen, E. (2016, September 12). Should College Be Free: Pros And Cons Of Tuition-Free College. Retrieved from https://www.collegeraptor.com/find-colleges/articles/affordability-college-cost/pros-cons-tuition-free-college/

Bruenig, M. (2015, October 5). The Case Against Free College. Retrieved from https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/matt-bruenig-left-case-against-free-college

Hardiman, A. (2016, November 18). Why College Should Not Be Free, and How to Make It More Affordable. Retrieved from https://www.theecjournal.com/single-post/2016/11/18/Why-College-Should-Not-Be-Free-and-How-to-Make-It-More-Affordable

Hess, A. (2019, October 2). 51% of young Americans support the tuition-free public college. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/01/56percent-of-young-americans-support-free-public-college-how-it-might-work.html

Huelsman, M. (2015, May 18). Five Reasons Why Debt-Free College Helps More than Just the Upper-Middle Class. Retrieved from https://www.demos.org/blog/five-reasons-why-debt-free-college-helps-more-just-upper-middle-class#:~:targetText=1., they%20can’t%20afford%20it

Kelly, A. P. (2016, January 20). The Problem Is That Free College Isn’t Free – NYTimes.com. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/01/20/should-college-be-free/the-problem-is-that-free-college-isnt-free

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