Free College - Episode Preview and Article
Written by: Alvina Anwar - Writer for the Topilitical article chain
Post-high school education can be excruciatingly difficult for many. Many things come into play to toughen the experience. Leaving home for the first time and the tremendously advanced studies are already challenging, but perhaps the most stressful checkpoint is the cost of it all. According to educationdata.org, "The average cost of attendance at any 4-year institution is $25,362. The average cost of tuition at any 4-year institution is $20,471. At public 4-year institutions, the average in-state tuition and required fees total $9,308 per year; out-of-state tuition and fees average $26,427".
As you can imagine, this hefty price for someone without a steady income is overwhelming. Now, although it's been this way for countless decades, many are starting to doubt the point of making students pay for their education. Plenty of people are reluctant to this idea, however. Because it's been this way for so long and we're used to this system when it comes to college education, the idea of not having students pay tuition seems nearly idiotic. No matter where you stand on the topic, it's fair to say that both sides have good points and should be taken into consideration as this idea is still new.
Now, if you aren't familiar with this cause, you may be resistant to having free college. However, one of the main arguments from supporters is that there's better access to college education. Since the fear of tuition leaves the minds of youth, the thought of college would become more and more tempting, as it would be much cheaper. This means students who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance to attend college might go,
increasing the employment rate.
Nevertheless, there is a comeback for this from those against free college. That is the fact that since such important education is now easily accessible to everyone, students may not be as motivated and encouraged to do well. From elementary to high school, you can very easily find students who slack and don't try their hardest to succeed. This is because going to school itself requires no effort, therefore lowering the motivation to study. Those who are anti-free colleges fear this may occur to college students as well.
Although those supporting free colleges understand this, some consider it to be a good thing. According to guide2research.com, "54.2% of surveyed mental health clinicians believe that anxiety, depression, and stress are the top concerns of U.S. college student patients". Even though most of this is due to the workload itself, it would take a weight off of students' shoulders. Some believe that there is a chance these students wouldn't slack, and instead, feel genuinely less accented. There are two sides to this point, and as a reader, we encourage you to form your own opinion with information from both sides.
A separate point brought up from the opposing side is that students who come from more fortunate families don't require free education. Although it is beneficial to less fortunate students who wouldn't have had the chance to attend higher education if not free, it isn't very necessary for richer students. Usually, with richer families, parents already have money set aside for their child's future, therefore not financially damaging the student or family. Many believe that, if we are going to go through with free tuition, it should only be accessible to those who desperately need it.
The very popular and commonly known point is that the student debt rates would fundamentally decrease. Even though there are plenty of other expenses to pay in college, such as housing, food and other necessities, one of the most expensive fees by far is tuition itself. Even if some people still took out loans to pay for the other costs, the overall amount of money owed would be less in a free-tuition world.
But that's just it, there are other expenses too. This is what leads anti-free tuition believers to their next point: it isn't worth it. If there are already so many other fees that need to be paid, why go through all the trouble of making free tuition possible? Since the students themselves wouldn't be paying for their education, it would come out of taxpayer money. This now lowers funding for other government-paid causes, such as the police. If the amount of debt is only going to be lowered by a few thousand dollars, what's the point?
Well, that's for you to decide this Sunday. On 05/28/21, we plan to have an exciting debate surrounding this topic. Supporting free tuition, we have one of our well-respected co-hosts, Omar Gaballa. Against free tuition, we have none other than our executive producer, David Barbu. They'll discuss points mentioned in this article and some of their own, debating the worth of free college in an appealing and engaging manner. Until next time, stay tuned and stay Topilitical.