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The Pros and Cons of Tuition-Free College



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College is an expensive endeavor for most if not all students, with the debate over free colleges and or making them less of a colossal expense being a heated issue that many people still argue about today. There are pros and cons to every issue, and tuition-free college is one that has both in spades.

Pros of tuition-free college

One of the biggest causes of students dropping out of college is simply not having the ability to pay for all the tuition for four years. So rather than be burdened by crippling debt, they simply drop out and don’t get their degree.

Supporters of tuition-free college argue that making college free would keep students committed to the four-year program. The graduation rate would rise as students wouldn’t drop out or make college a part-time thing as they take on more jobs to support themselves.

In addition, if so much money didn’t go into paying off the debt, students would be more likely to buy homes, cars, and other items that would contribute to the economy. Then the only money would need to be spent on rent, other small expenses, and books, which is a much more manageable expense to deal with and pay off.

Finally, most students can end up making choices for a major that is financially stable (such as being a doctor or lawyer) rather than a major that interests them solely for the purpose of paying off the debt. If more students followed their passion instead of a paycheck, the world would be the one that benefits.

Cons of tuition-free college

However, if college is free then where does the money to keep it operational come from? Opponents of free college say that taxes on certain people/groups will replace the payment of students. However, no one knows who will be the payer of those taxes. Will it be the rich? The Upper class?Wall Street?

In addition, handling student debt is a massive learning opportunity, and provides students with the ability to budget their money and learn how to do it. When people don’t have that opportunity and can’t have firsthand experience of budgets, it can lead to bad money management for other services.

 

 

Also, free college can devaluate the diploma, because students won’t be paying anything to have them earn the diploma. The accumulation of debt is a big motivation for students to finish college quickly, and strive to get good grades to reduce the debt they get.

Which side to choose?

Both sides have their pros and cons, and both sides also provide benefits to students. As much as they don’t like debt, it is a great motivator… but it can be crippling and can put students off. Both sides will have to work together to find a solution to ensure that the system can work.

Until both sides can find a little common ground and ensure that students will be motivated to finish college but also will be able to pay their way out, the debate will go on.

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