Why Free Tuition Brings More Problems Than It Solves
Sure college tuition debt is an issue, but can tuition really be "free" without causing even more problems?
Dear next President,
Many people discuss whether or not college should be tuition free in the future. Though it may benefit those unable to afford a higher education, college tuition should not be handed-out. Some don't understand the simple concept that nothing is ever really costless. Several problems with free tuition include extreme taxes, wasted money, and exploitation.
First off, a "free" college education leads to an extreme raise in taxes. Not only will working men and women have to give back a larger portion of their paycheck, but just because a college student doesn't have to pay a tuition each year, doesn't mean they won't have to pay it back in the long run with their future tax dollars. Besides, some people will be forced to pay for an education even if they didn't choose the college path. Eventually, costs will rise even more once colleges realize that they can raise the tuition without losing students that can't afford it. In the New York Times, author Kevin Carey says, "Any public university president with an ounce of sense would simply raise annual tuition by $5,000 or $10,000 or more, secure in the knowledge that Uncle Sam would foot the bill." Consequently, the population will be working for less and the nation's treasury and economy could drain due to a free-tuition program.
As if an increase in taxes wasn't enough, the potential for wasted money also poses a threat. Since students won't have to pay their tuition, who's to say some won't just blow off a class with the excuse "oh well, I'll just retake it"? Not paying for an education may lead students to work less hard with nothing to lose. In The Washington Post, Daniel Willingham suggests, "Before spending billions to get more kids in college we should make sure that won't simply lead to a boom in college failure." Clearly, with such an opportunity just handed out, it is inevitable that some people will take their education less seriously, wasting tax money on class retakes or college failure.
On top of wasting money, the opportunity of free education may be exploited. Not everyone goes to college and the reasons vary, but some people may take advantage of a free education without plans of future work. For example, a stay-at-home parent may decide they want to go to school with some time on their hands and no intention of ever working. That individual would be benefitting off a free tuition paid for by others without putting anything back into the system. With free tuition, there are so many situations in which the education can be taken advantage of.
All in all, college tuition should not be free. Such a hand-out will lead to greater issues such as high taxes, a waste of money, and exploitation. So until there is a way to prevent the many issues that come along with an idea too good to be true, I suggest you focus on greater problems. Thank you for your time.
-Sincerely, a student hoping to pay for college next year