Pros and Cons of Creating Free Community College Essay Example
According to former United States Vice President Joe Biden, “We need the best educated, most skilled, workforce in the world.” Several Americans can strongly agree with this statement, more educated people can result in a better country. To this day the discussion of creating free community college for students that qualify remains extremely controversial. Both sides of the discussion have strong reasons to believe that receiving a free associates degree can either benefit or hurt the United States.
Even if you may not be a student and have already completed school, the topic can still affect people significantly, both benefiting and consequently. With states permitting tuition free community college, students will be affected as well as the economy itself. If students receive a free associates degree the economy, social classes, and students financially challenged can change. Everyone on earth is surrounded by others that have an effect on the community. Some view free community college as a consequence that will drastically affect the United States far in the future, while others believe it will help improve the country. People mostly argue between the ideas that free community college will affect taxpayers, devalue the college degree, and affect all students.
When evaluating the possibility of free community college, numerous people view the cost to be out of reach for the state and federal governments. From this point of view, taxpayers will have to cover the majority of the cost, causing taxes to increase by billions nationwide. However, according to Ashley Smith, a reporter for community colleges the estimated yearly cost for the Tennessee Promise program is $25.3 million (Smith, pars. 11).
The Tennessee Promise program pays for students to receive free community college. Smith also reported that the program will not directly cost taxpayers. The expansion is estimated to cost $10 million a year, but all of those funds will come from lottery dollars. The Promise program is also primarily funded from Tennessee lottery reserves, which were placed in an endowment. With the state of Tennessee offering students free community college, they will obtain higher educated students without the taxpayers suffering drastically.
When analyzing another point of view, some also suggest that offering students that qualify for free community college will cause students to become less responsible and devalue the college degree significantly. From this viewpoint, because students are receiving free college, they will not be responsible or care because they are not paying the price themselves. People point to the fact that college dropout rates will also increase because of students that will take advantage of the offer. Nonetheless, assistant professor of higher education at Vanderbilt University Adela Soliz, states that tuition free policies will actually increase enrolment from 3.6 to 4 percent (Soliz, pars. 1).
She also states that the programs like the Tennessee Promise will require students to maintain a certain GPA throughout the semester and for their final. For those students who do not accomplish the requirements, they will lose their financial aids if they do not demonstrate acceptable academic progress. A study in Ohio also demonstrated that with funding with persistent requirements for students, a large percentage of the students graduated with an additional 1.7 credits by the end of the year (Soliz, pars. 6). In the end, with the proposing idea of free community college having certain academic achievements, students will reach high academic standards and graduate with the opportunity of a free degree.
Furthermore, when comparing and contrasting both viewpoints of free community college, I believe community college should be tuition free for students with high academic standards. From my point of view, students who are willing to put in the work throughout grade school and demonstrate exceeding academic achievements throughout high school should have the opportunity to earn a free associates degree. If a student proves their dedication to school and maintains a high GPA, they should be able to be trusted to accomplish a big milestone of their education that will significantly help their future.
I also believe that with additional professional and educated adults, the economy will become stronger because students graduate with less debt and can contribute more towards the economy. According to copy writer for the student debt relief website and social media consultant Deborah Kurfiss, the average student today graduates from college $37,172 in student loan debt, and our total student loan debt in this country is $1.48 trillion (Kurfiss, pars. 5). In the big picture, this would affect the economy with millions of people paying back student loans instead of purchasing houses, cars, etc. As a result, students who receive free community college that have earned it will graduate and help shape our country to become stronger and educated.
In the end, the discussion and debate over free community college is an ongoing topic that can significantly change our country in both perspectives. Although both sides have their ups and downs, with compromises and serious planning, free community college can ultimately have positive outcomes. By viewing a free associates degree as an effective plan, everyone in the economy can benefit because of the increasing numbers of educated students receiving high, professional careers that count towards the economy. The social class will also be evened out and significant gaps would be reduced since the upper income family now holds 75 times the wealth of the median low income family (Kurfiss, pars. 8).
Besides the fact that free community college could possibly benefit everyone in the United States, proposing an agreement between both points of views can also significantly improve the country. If states do not offer free community college, they can offer scholarships for two of the four semesters students usually spend at a community college. Evidently, the scholarships would have strict requirements to earn it, keep it throughout the semesters, and a requirement of graduation. This drastically lowers the cost all together and still helps not only students, but the future of the country. In the end, every student in the United States should have the opportunity for education to keep up with the modern economy if they are willing to face the challenges, regardless of their financial status.