Should College Be Free: Comprehensive Analysis of the Pros and Cons
When one is deciding whether to go to college, money can often be a big factor. There are many options for assistance with paying for college, such as scholarships, grants, student loans, etc. They don’t always cover all of it, though. In some cases, it can raise the cost significantly to the point that you pay double the initial cost due to interest. Although, if college was free for someone that was striving for a high-demand career, would more people go?
The Benefits of a College Degree
There are many benefits that come from going to college and earning a degree. With a college degree, students are more likely to make more money than that with a high school degree. A 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Education found the average worker with a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $1 million more than a worker without a postsecondary education (shu). That can make a big difference in someone’s life. There is also a lesser chance of unemployment.
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“In addition to the potential to make more money, earning your college degree could also lead to more career stability. According to BLS data, just 2.7% of workers with a bachelor’s degree are facing unemployment, compared to 5.2% of workers with only a high school diploma”, says SNHU.
Challenges and Obstacles
If you go to college and achieve getting a degree in a major that you are passionate about, there is more satisfaction in the job (shu). When obtaining a college degree, people are more likely to become homeowners. Also, according to SNHU, “A 2016 report from real estate company Zillow found that 75% of all home buyers were college-educated in that year, compared to just 11% who had a high school diploma only and 14% who attended some college but did not earn a degree” (SNHU).
Even with all those benefits that come with going to college, there are many factors that can put people off. Personally, there can be obstacles such as not knowing which college to choose, fear of socially not fitting in, not doing well in classes due to their performance in high school, and many more (IMAGINE AMERICA). Choosing a college can be very difficult at times, especially when you’re not sure which major you want. Although it may be difficult and stressful, there are many options available to assist you in choosing a major best fitted to you. (IA).
Another obstacle is discouragement. Discouragement can come from becoming the first one in the family to go to college, along with knowing you didn’t do well in high school, so you think you won’t do well in college courses (IMAGINE AMERICA). Colleges offer more tutoring to make sure that you understand what you are learning. Being the first one to go to college can be very nerve-racking and can often deter students. A large factor in why people don’t go to college is the cost of (IA). College can be a huge reason why people don’t go due to the inability to afford it.
The Escalating Cost of College
The cost of college has steadily increased over the years and has caused many debates on whether it should be free. College ranking can contribute greatly to the cost of tuition. College rank depends on how great the school is based on its education, programs, faculty, facilities, and more. Colleges need to keep their ranking up by keeping up with the times by upgrading their buildings and having the best buildings/sports facilities (EDMIT). There are also other factors that contribute to the overall cost. The cost of college covers the payroll of the faculty and staff, maintenance, etc. (EDMIT).
The salaries of faculty and staff have risen significantly due to the high demand of the most successful teachers to increase the college’s ranking (EDMIT). This means that the hiring college needs to match the previous salary of the incoming teacher (EDMIT). Faculty, staff, and administration’s salary “rose 39 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the American Association of University Professors” (EDMIT). If that rate continues, the price of college will soon double. When it comes to improving the college’s campus, they tend to modernize their buildings and sports arenas to show how great of a school it is (EDMIT).
Those charges are from the college; after that, there are the books, supplies, living, and travel expenses. Living on campus can prove to be as expensive as if you were paying off a house, not to mention the cost of food. Adding the cost of traveling to and from classes can be a big addition to the cost.
The Demand for High-Demand Jobs
There are many high-demand jobs today. To name a few, there are several high-demand jobs in health care, business, technology, and trade. In business, receptionists, medical secretaries, financial managers, accountants, and management analysts are in need of roughly 121,083 openings (there are more than the few I mentioned) (Trade.net). There is an average of 81,750 openings for trade school graduates, including but not limited to electricians, plumbers, truck drivers, and carpenters (Trade.net).
As technology advances, there is more and more need for technological graduates, with an average of 54,450 openings for technology (Trade.net). As for health care, there will always be a need for something in health care. Currently, there is a high demand for licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, nursing assistants, dental assistants, and many more. If college was free for those going into a program that led to a high-demand job, would those positions be filled?
If college was free, more lower-income students would reach graduation, much more people would go to college, and student debt would crush graduates’ years after they graduate (raptor). Taking the cost of college away would risk losing the importance of going to college (raptor).
I think that if college was free, people would take advantage of that and not put all the effort they could into it because they would know that they would be able to do it again. If someone did that, there would have to be consequences. People getting a free education would help get more people into school to earn degrees in the line of work that is needed.
There are so many obstacles that cause people not to go to college. What if one of the big ones was taken off the load because you were going into a certain field that had a high demand? There are so many jobs that are in desperate need of more qualified employees. Colleges could provide those future employees if the education needed wasn’t so hard to get. The cost of college is a very large factor in many non-college graduates’ lives.
- America, Imagine. ‘Top Five Reasons Students Don’t Want to Attend College.’ Imagine America Foundation, 5 Apr. 2017, www.imagine-america.org/inside-imagine-america-newsletterspring-2007featured/. Accessed 7 Dec.
- Anderson, Ellen. ‘Pros and Cons of Tuition-Free College.’ College Raptor, 6 Dec. 2018, www.collegeraptor.com/find-colleges/articles/affordability-college-cost/pros-cons-tuition-free-college/. Accessed 7 Dec.2018.
- Bogle, Susan. ‘Top 10 Reasons Why College Is Important.’ Southern New Hampshire University, 2 Aug. 2018. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.
- Bromely, Mary. ‘Why Is College Tuition Rising So Much? And What Can You Do?’ Cornerstone University, 5 Mar. 2018, www.cornerstone.edu/blogs/lifelong-learning-matters/post/why-is-college-tuition-rising-so-much-and-what-can-you-do. Accessed 7 Dec.2018.
- Pascarella, Sarah. ‘Why Does College Cost so Much?’ Edmit, 23 Apr. 2018, www.edmit.me/blog/why-does-college-cost-so-much. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.
- Turner, Cory. ‘If ‘Free College’ Sounds Too Good to Be True, That’s Because It Often Is.’ Npr, 12 Sept. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/09/12/643673271/ if-free-college-sounds-too-good-to-be-true-that-s-because-it-often-is. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.
- ’25 High-Demand Jobs in 2018 for Almost Every Type of Person.’ Trade Schools, Colleges and University, 13 Nov. 2018, www.trade-schools.net/articles/ high-demand-jobs. asp. Accessed 7 Dec. 2018.