Thelevel education has a huge influence on social and economic status ofan individual. The achievement of the American dream is largelyinfluence by the level education an individual is able to attain,mainly because it influence the level of income and accessibility toeconomic opportunities. This paper argues that the government shouldadopt a free tuition policy for colleges. This is because it willsignificantly increase the access to higher education, especiallyamong learners from low income backgrounds. It will also eliminatesome of the disparities in college education by creating a levelplaying ground. However, opponents of free tuition for collegeeducation do not have significant impacts on the disparities andinequalities in higher education. This argument has been disputed bysupporters of free tuition policies based on the impact of thepolicies on the targeted populations.
Freetuition for college
Socialand economic status of an individual is largely influenced by thelevel of education. This is mainly because of the fact that incomelevels and the ability of individuals to access job opportunities areinfluenced by their level of education. According to Goldrick- Raband Kendall (p 2) college education plays an important role in theachievement of the American dream. Through college education,children from all social and economic status can become what theydream of becoming. However, in the last few decades, the cost ofhigher education has increased significantly. There are several waysthrough which the government can promote college education in thecountry, mainly through grants and scholarships that ensure thatstudent from low income backgrounds access college education. It hasbeen argued that the government should provide free tuition for allcollege students to increase the accessibility of higher education.This paper argues that the government should adopt a free tuitionpolicy for college education to increase accessibility and promoteequity.
Proponentsof free tuition for colleges have argued that it will significantlyincrease the number of individuals who are able to access highereducation. This is because if tuition fee is eliminated, the cost ofcollege education will be lowered by a significant margin. This willresult into the long term benefits of a more educated population.Studies indicates that individuals with basic college education arebetter members of the society, have a greater contribution ineconomic, social and community development, and are able to engagethemselves in civic activities (Canadian Federation of Students, p1). Additionally, tuition fees have been found to be regressive inthe society. Tuition fees promote social and economic disparity andstratification in the society. Poor families are more likely to spendsignificant part of their incomes on college fees. As a result, asmall reduction in the cost of college education will have effects onthe disproportionate access to education. Eliminating tuition fees incolleges will create a level playing ground for learning in lowincome and wealthy families. Additionally, international standardshave favored free tuition for colleges. Many countries around theworld have adopted this policy to increase access to higher education(Canadian Federation of Students, p 4).
However,opponents of free tuition education have argued that eliminatingtuition fee will not benefit the poor and low income students. Thisis because the policy will give extra advantage to the rich withoutsecuring a reciprocating benefit to the low income learners. As aresult, the government will be using large sums of money withoutattaining the desired benefits (Bruenig, p 1).
Althoughthis is an important observation, it does not address the problemfacing learners from poor and low income background. Learners fromhigh income background have no problem accessing college educationand thus, free tuition will not have any impacts on them. However, itwill positively impact on the targeted population. Grants andscholarships or other benefits to poor learners have not been able todeal with inequalities and disparities in higher education (Hout,380).
Inconclusion, a free tuition policy in higher education will have apositive impact on equality and accessibility of educationopportunities. This will have a positive impact on the society,especially individuals from low income backgrounds. Many learners whoare struggling or unable to access college education because of thecost associated with it increased cost of higher education will bethe beneficiaries of the policy.
Bruenig,Matt. The Case against Free College, HigherEducation,October 2015,http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123022/case-against-free-college
CanadianFederation of Students. FreePost-Secondary Education In Ontario: The Case For Eliminating TuitionFees,Fact Sheet. March 2013.http://cfsontario.ca/downloads/CFS-Factsheet-FreeEducation.pdf
Goldrick-Rab,Sara and Kendall, Nancy. Redefining College Affordability: SecuringAmerica’s Future with a Free Two Year College Option, TheEducation Optimists,April 2014,https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/publications/ideas_summit/Redefining_College_Affordability.pdf
Hout,Michael. Social and Economic Returns to College Education in theUnited States.Annual Review of Sociology(2012), 38, p 379-400.