By Sania Dastagir | 31st July, 2022
Education is no doubt a core part of our lives. It provides stability in our lives and becomes something that can never be taken away from us. But, can it possibly be overrated?
Education helps develop our critical thinking, which is vital for a person to use logic when making decisions and interacting with people. In many cases, having the opportunity of education benefits a whole society, as many have higher income rates, higher standards of living, and lower crime rates, as well as better health and civic involvement.
But there is always a catch🤨 if you are not equipped with this blissful power. Oftentimes, people's lives are exploited, and they usually have an extremely difficult time getting ahead in society 😐. People would often have to suffer from poor health, lack of a voice, a shorter lifespan, unemployment, and gender inequality 😕. But with the power of education, many of us fulfill our dreams and become self-independent. Thus, doesn't a society with education seem similar to a utopia?
However, nothing is free. Education always comes at a cost 😶. While an educated person may live a healthy lifestyle, many are often in great debt 😢. According to Business Insider, researchers have found that 27 percent of Americans paid more than 40 percent of their income toward debts, defined as "fixed expenses" 😱.
Moreover, those with a college education were more likely to pay 40 percent of their income towards debt than their counterparts, people without a college degree. So, one might think free education is a must, but even a free education has its fair share of disadvantages for a student. And that's what we are going to dig into today.
💡Fact: currently there are 43.4 million students who have federal student loan debt!!😱
➕ Pros of Free Education😁
👉Although it is not likely to happen, one can agree that there are several benefits to free education. First of all, free education would immensely reduce the amount of student debt.Every year, over 10 million students take out loans to cover their tuition costs and other college-related expenses😨, and every year the amount of student debt increases as well. Additionally, student debt is one of the worst forms of debt 😬 since it often carries high-interest ratesand has some other additional downsides. This affects many students because over 53% struggle to save money and continue with their lives to settle on and even buy a house😞
"If more than 40 percent of your income is going toward debt, you're at a danger point, because if the household income drops for any reason, it would be very difficult to keep up all your payments," said Sherman Hanna, co-author of the research and professor of consumer sciences at Ohio State University.
👉Free education would not only mean less stress for the graduates 🤨, but it would also have social benefits for them as they would be able to build better connections with their education😁. Furthermore, many students would be free to follow their passions and abilities❤️🔥. Another pro of free education would be that it would expand access to education. Because of high tuition fees📉, there is a huge barrier for bright young people to get a degree since they can’t afford it. However, if tuition were free, many more people would be able to attend college, resulting in higher average salaries 💸 because of a college education
This would also help the economy since there would be lower unemployment rates because many could find jobs 👩💼with better education. Moreover, fewer students will need part-time jobs to finance their studies, and though it is not bad to get a first impression of what work-life looks like, part-time jobs also take away plenty of time: that may be needed for students to learn and prepare for exams. However, with no tuition fees, students would be able to completely focus on their studies 📖 📕.
➖ Cons of Free Education☹️
Now, after reading so many pros, one may think, how can there be any cons to free education🤔? How can free education possibly be a downside?
Well, in many ways, free education can spoil us😳 Many students, for example, may no longer value education. You may have noticed that you value expensive items more 🤑 than things that are given to you for free. Thus, if education were free, students would take it for granted. Additionally, not valuing one's education would consequently lead to less motivation to study hard.
For instance, Let’s assume you are a college student who is aware that your parents contribute significantly to your tuition. You will naturally want to study 📖📑hard so that you can repay them sooner or later. However, if there are no tuition fees, you are more likely to be relaxed 😌 and lack the motivation to study hard because you know the financial burden on you and your family is rather limited.
Furthermore, free education would result in many students not concentrating on a single major 👩🎓. This can cause serious issues because if students enroll in too many different majors, their grades will suffer immediately as a result of taking so many different classes. Another disadvantage of free education is that the money 💵 for it must come from somewhere. If the college students aren't paying for it, then the taxpayer must. And it can be considered a burden for the taxpayers 😣 since they do not profit too much from the education of strangers.
As a result, it is debatable whether it is fair to impose the high cost of college on taxpayers rather than on college students who directly benefit from their degrees😓. Not only that but there would be a lot of educational inflation as well. Many institutions would have a hard time providing huge numbers of students with proper education due to organizational problems.
Moreover, if too many people attend college🏫 the degree 📜 of each individual becomes less valuable. The same is true for job opportunities. Ultimately, free education would also benefit people who could easily pay for their college tuition and don't need any sort of financial support, such as kids from rich families💰.
👉To summarize whether college should be free or not should be determined by public opinion 📢. However, an interesting alternative to free college education would be to lower interest rates and extend the repayment period for those loans so that the students do not have a large financial burden once they graduate🏦. Through this measure, those who benefit the most from their degree (students) would continue to bear the costs of their education, while the taxpayers, government, or the bank would not need to worry about any later expenses.
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