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Re: Should College Education be Free?

The level of education in this country is not nearly where it should be. In my personal opinion it’s not at an acceptable level. From elementary school through college, many students are not receiving the level of education that is required to turn them into contributing members of society. Why have anyone invest in a poorly run program?

It doesn’t make sense to me to give public colleges and universities any money when they spend millions on new sporting complexes while their students sit next to 300 of their peers trying to hear an overworked and underpaid professor. It doesn’t make sense to me to give public colleges and universities any money when students are arriving there incapable of writing a coherent paper. It doesn’t make sense to me that grad student’s are labeled TAs and then forced to teach an entire course. It doesn’t make sense to me that the country, the people, and the schools themselves, don’t prioritize the education of its citizens.

Should public colleges and universities be free? Absolutely. There is no question in my mind that all public institutions of higher education should be free. It is indeed a travesty that there are people seeking education and being denied that because of their financial circumstance. Furthermore it is not right that students that do attend universities must endure the stress and hardship involved in accepting loans that they may not be prepared to pay off.

What does make sense to me is finally making an effort as a country to show that we care about learning. What does make sense to me is making a concerted effort to better the education system in this country. But if the country expects that free college solves a problem that starts in kindergarten they are incorrect.

Currently the U.S. is ranked below many other first world countries in reading, mathematics, and science. Schools are churning out students barely capable of passing arbitrary standardized tests. Student’s are not taught how to think about things logically and critically. These students are turning into adults that lack these same skills. This country is filled with not just undereducated but poorly educated.

Making public colleges and universities free is a very doable and positive step toward trying to properly educate our country. But to properly take advantage of it, more of an investment needs to be made to prepare students for what awaits them at these higher learning institutions. Free college is but a first step toward reinvesting in our education. Schools on a lower level need more money, teachers, and supplies. We, as a country, need to reevaluate what needs to be learned by kids, and how to most effectively teach it to them.

I personally believe that if you teach a student to think critically, logically, and coherently, they will figure the rest out with greater ease.

The benefits of a nation of educated citizens speaks for itself, and pays for itself as well. Better and more widespread education leads to a higher proportion of innovators, entrepreneurs, and skilled laborers. It means fewer people making uneducated decisions. It means a greater proportion of education people in every field. It means the advancement of civilization as a whole.

Now, though I feel a bit dramatic and off-topic at the moment, I’ll try to veer back to the main question raised and respond to worries about the cost of making free public colleges and universities tuition free.

The fear of higher taxes is an unfounded one. A significant portion of state and federal taxes already go toward funding public colleges and universities. And even then the income that comes from tuition and fees generally makes up less than a quarter of a university’s overall income.

I’d also like to remind everyone that it need not be the common person that pays the tax to make college free. A fraction of a percent tax imposed upon Wall Street speculators would pay for free tuition for all of America. This may sound like I’m quoting Bernie Sanders, and I am, but the idea is not originally his and it has been put in place in several countries with great success.

Free public college is very possible and burden free. The benefit of having an entire nation educated at a higher level is immense. The potential for economic mobility it offers those that would otherwise not have options is incredible. The experience it would offer the country would be priceless.

By The Tragic Hero

One thought on “Re: Should College Education be Free?

  1. I much enjoyed your writing Tragic Hero, and totally expected a Bernie Sanders reference, you did not disappoint!
    I am with you that there is a problem with the education system as a whole starting with elementary school. We have not changed with the times in that respect.
    Like with Shotgun, would love to read your take on a proposed solution.

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