Should education be free?

by Kristina Tahnyak on July 31, 2015 · 3 comments

education, free education, going to school

OK let’s have this debate today.  I have very mixed emotions on this subject.  On one hand I feel that education should be free for everyone who wants it, but on the other hand I feel that people should always have to work hard for the things they get in life.  And there my friends lies our debate.

Who should get to go to college?

Everyone.  Why?  My simplest answer is because no one peaks in high school.  Just because a student didn’t do well in high school doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to succeed in college.  Just because someone’s grades weren’t great in high school doesn’t mean they should be excluded from being offered a higher education.

I’m almost 35 years old (in October) and I’m  just starting to find who I am.  I’m only now starting to feel comfortable and content with my life and I’m thankful for it – but it took me almost 35 years to get here.

I had no idea what I wanted to be in college.  I didn’t even know where I wanted to live.  All I  knew is that I wanted to get away from my parents’ divorce and college was the easiest way to do that. I changed my major three times in college before graduating in economics.

I think it’s unreasonable to base someone’s future on who they were or how they performed at 17.

Why should education be free?

Because the younger generations are the future of our country, economy and world.  If we send them out into society without an education what sate will the world be in in 25 years?  The unfortunate reality is that not everyone can afford to go to college so the government should make it affordable.

Scholarships and bursaries are one way to assist students pursue a higher education but is it enough?  I am not sure why education costs are so high but they definitely seem excessive.  Especially considering the fact that the younger generations are going school to take care of the state of the economy for the older generations we should definitely invest in their future.

What are the parameters?

Let’s say we live in a perfect world where every high school student gets a free college education.  Is that actually an ideal situation?  We would need several more schools to house all the students across the country who wanted to take advantage of a free education.

I know I had to work full time during my college years and my grades definitely suffered.  Thank goodness my poor grades didn’t prevent me from getting a job after graduation.  I still also graduated with over $10,000 in student loans – that was a lot back then.  Trust me when I say my life would have been easier if my education was free.

So what do you think.  Should a college education be free for anyone who wants it?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Muller July 31, 2015 at 8:17 am

Yes!!! I love this debate… although I wonder who will disagree with your point (maybe I’m just overly passionate about it as you are!). I totally think college should be free. Tuition costs are constantly rising. Colleges are now businesses, just pumping out graduates so they can increase their profits. More and more “colleges” are being created as a way of getting into the game… again it’s all business. What about the people who are actually going to learn? Sure, you’ll learn. But you’ll also walk out with tens of thousands of dollars in loans that you may or may not be able to pay back… assuming you can even find a job. I graduated in 2007, right before the crash of the economy. I was extremely fortunate to find a job, but I saw the kids that graduated six months after me struggle to find work. I had friends graduating with degrees in finance that could barely find a job as a collector in a call center. It’s a huge investment of money for (usually) a very small return at first. That’s why many kids are now looking at alternative options, such as radiology programs. In my area, it costs about $4,000 for the degree and you start off making around $50,000-60,000 a year, with potential to go upwards of $85,000. That’s a much better return on investment than spending $50,000 for a degree that might get you a job making $30,000 out of school. Great debate, I can’t wait to see what others say!

2 Dave@50PlusFinance August 1, 2015 at 12:45 am

I have a few comments. First this is a false argument. Nothing is free. Someone is going to pay for it. And that would be tax money which comes from us. We would be supplying this so called free education. Not only would we be paying more taxes but I am sure we would be borrowing some of the money too. Remember we already have govt. help in paying for college. FASFA grants helped put one of my kids through college and she recently got her degree. She went to the local university and lived at home. With FASFA and less than $30,000 out of my pocket, she got it done. It can be affordable if you do it like I did.
I agree if you do go away to college, the housing, tuition and books cost are crazy expensive. I have an idea, if you can’t afford to replay student loans then don’t take them. Why not work your way through college. Take 6 yrs. to do it and pay as you go. I won’t bore you by listing any other alternatives because many people have made up their minds that they need a mommy or daddy or gov’t to take care of them and do all the heavy lifting. Sorry, I am just sick of the complaining. By the way Kristina, the site looks great!

3 Kristina August 6, 2015 at 11:39 pm

@Chris Muller – We are on the same page. It seems like it’s just becoming a business and that’s not O.K. I wonder how much it costs to start a college?

@Dave – Hi Dave. I hope all is well in sunny Florida. Thanks for all the info. Just out of curiosity is your daughter making a salary substantially higher than the balance on her student loans. I think working is a great option and unfortunately not always used by students. It’s probably worth it to take the extra couple of years to be debt free after graduation, but I’m not sure how many kids do that.

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