Free College Tuition, Essay Example

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Words: 427

Essay

If college tuition is made free, it will add significant financial burden on states and the federal government. It is estimated that a proposal by Michigan’s Democrats titled “Michigan 2020” which will offer free college tuition (up to $9,500 per year) to graduates of high schools in the state will cost about 4 percent of the total state budget or $1.8 billion per year. Another problem is that free college education will only accelerate the rise in tuition costs as colleges will be aware of the fact that every student is covered and the increased costs will simply be passed on to the government (Hanson, 2012).

There are certain alternatives that could be tried in place of free college tuition. One alternative is the University of California system’s Fix UC plan according to which the students will repay the cost of tuition on the basis of their salaries after graduation (Heffner). The benefit of this alternative is that it creates an obligation on the students to repay according to what they can afford. The disadvantage is that it disproportionately punishes some students who have worked hard and end up securing high-pay jobs since they are required to pay more.

Another alternative may be to lower spending in other areas such as defense and reallocate resources to education to substantially lower college education costs if not make college education free. The benefit of this alternative is that it will force the government to work harder to reduce wasteful activities such as multi-billion dollars military projects with little value except for the companies who win the contracts. Moreover, nations around the world now compete on economic influence as well and the U.S. should allocate more resources to education before it is too late. The disadvantage of this alternative is that it may lead to unemployment in industries and regions with high concentration of military industries.

The best solution may be for the government to increase federal aid and take steps to reduce debt burden on students. One way to do is to increase the average amount of Pell Grants available to students and make it easier for students to qualify for it. In addition, the students should be given an opportunity to start paying back loans only after they have secured jobs. The government may also offer students incentives to pay loans earlier so that the amount could be made available to other students.

References

Hanson, D. (2012, March 29). Nothing Free about Free Tuition. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://blog.heritage.org/2012/03/29/nothing-free-about-free-tuition/

Heffner, A. (n.d.). Could College Be Free? Retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://www.good.is/posts/could-college-be-free/

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