The USA doesn’t have free education for students, at least at the higher levels. Much has been made about increasing levels of debt. Some people have even called for the introduction of free education. This would be a major mistake. It would decrease personal freedoms for much of the general population, reduce quality, and send the wrong message to students. This essay will explain why.
Firstly, someone has to pay for education. It’s physically impossible to deliver quality education while charging students nothing. Someone has to pay for it. If it isn’t students taking care of their responsibilities, it’s taxpayers who already pay for the substantial grants and scholarships awarded to students every year. It’s wrong to place this burden on the general population for a decision entirely resting on the individual’s shoulders.
Making education free would mean the money has to be found from elsewhere. The only options available to the government would be to raise taxes or cut services elsewhere. It’s no fairer to cut other vital services than it is to make students pay for education. It doesn’t solve the problem, it only shifts the problem onto another part of the population.
Increasing taxes to pay for education reduces personal freedoms. Economic freedom directly correlates with personal freedoms. By cutting disposable income through the raising of taxes, it reduces the options available for families across the country. Arguably, it’s selfish to do this because a minority group decides to go into higher education.
Some would argue making education free would open up colleges and universities to a greater number of students. This isn’t the case. Although education isn’t free now, this in no way means people are prohibited from entering higher education. Grants awarding achievement already exist for the best students. Furthermore, the vast majority of students can already receive student loans to pay for tuition and maintenance. There are no barriers to students entering higher education even without a free tuition system.
With the current student loan system, lenders are far more forgiving and the repayments are much lower than a conventional loan. The system already allows students to climb up the career ladder before they start to pay back significant amounts.
Cutting fees would also make it more difficult to continue to improve the standard of education within schools and colleges. If these institutions can’t make a profit from charging their students, they can only make enough to cover their maintenance costs. They can’t invest in themselves and boost standards. This would only lead to the continuing decline of American higher education facilities and make the country less attractive for international students.
Overall, it’s important to make students understand they have responsibilities and the onus rests on them to take care of these responsibilities. It’s wrong to place the burdens of others onto the general population. Cutting fees would bring benefits to students who don’t have to pay for their own education, but it would only lead to the general decline of the facilities they study at.