Going (to College) for Broke
As soon as I started kindergarten, my dad opened a bank account in my name and started saving money for my college fund. Despite his efforts, our family still cannot afford the unreasonable price of a state university, which leaves me with a scholarship as my last hope. Because of the government’s higher education spending cuts, students like me must choose between going into debt to get a degree, or skipping college while robbing themselves and the nation of their potential. Although many politicians believe that students must pay for the costs of college, the federal government should fund public higher education because it will aid the students and the US economically, benefit American society, and provide graduates with necessary skills for the future.
Free higher education has several economic benefits for students and for the government. According to Thomas Mortenson from the American Council on Education, tuition has risen 230% at state universities and 164% at community colleges since 1980. Student loan debt has reached 1 trillion dollars. As stated by Scott Hines, the founder of the World Education University, “the return on investment just isn’t there.” Many students choose to drop out or skip college altogether because of the high costs. These issues will be resolved if the government funds colleges and more people will be able to graduate. Currently, the government spends billions of dollars on academic programs with very low graduation rates, around 30% (Samuels). This is because colleges spent too much money on luxuries and amenities, and as a result, they raise tuitions while the quality of instruction remains the same. If higher education were government funded and caps placed on tuition, it would streamline college costs as colleges would focus their resources on research and faculty. The government also spends money on social welfare for the unemployed. Unemployment drains resources from the economy. Unemployment because of lack of education is unnecessary. If the unemployed attain proper training and education, it will boost the economy greatly. Not only will free education save money in supporting an uneducated population, it could boost our economy. In other countries with free advanced education, such as the UK and Canada, graduates are considered an investment. They generally earn more, therefore giving more back in taxes and contributing more to the economy. If the US views education as a right, it will generate more money as more people will achieve financial success and more people will be fiscally independent.
Furthermore, government funded education will change American society for the better. The current education system is classist, supporting the distinctions that money and education make in the hierarchy. The current education system is elitist, shying away from the idea of educating the public. This is one of the reasons businesspeople and some government officials oppose the idea of...