Should higher education be free for everyone?

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It seems to me that too many people take a passive attitude toward "education." These people tend to assume that education is something that happens to you and that without having people and institutions to do this mysterious thing called "educating" they will have to remind in a benighted state...

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It seems to me that too many people take a passive attitude toward "education." These people tend to assume that education is something that happens to you and that without having people and institutions to do this mysterious thing called "educating" they will have to remind in a benighted state of ignorance all their lives. There is nothing to prevent people from educating themselves every day--if they are willing to focus on learning and to forego the mindless chatter and tasteless music that distracts so many of the masses. The modern world offers all kinds of facilities for improving our minds, including libraries, the Internet, computer software, all kinds of video and audio tapes, and some limited programming on television. eNotes provides a marvelous service with input from hundreds of qualified teachers. If a person knows how to read, he or she can have access to the world's knowledge; and if that person doesn't know how to read, learning to do so should be the first step in the educational process. Education is not the monopoly of schools. To believe this is to adopt a helpless, dependent attitude which is antipathetic to real education. A helpless, dependent attitude toward teachers is disheartening to them. They appreciate learners who are self-starters and motivated seekers of understanding and enlightenment.

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I can say YES as well as i can say NO.

If you are a clever guy and you don't have money for higher studies you really feel the need of free education. At least if there is no free education you hope that you will have scholarship. So in this case free education for higher studies is very much important.

Now let us think of a world with free education. When you have higher education free some of you might not understand the meaning or value of free education. So they will just stay in the school or collage for free and get out as idiots without any thing in your mind. The money spend on them will be completely useless.

So if you don't have free education and if you need to pay for education at least the people who just hangout there will recognise they have to do something for the money. So they will start to learn something at least. In this case paid education is better.

 

So finally we must be sure that everybody learn and best people get rewards. Clever ones should not left education simply because he has no money and idling idiots don't need to get education simply because the education is free.


We need a mechanism to encourage the best and educate the bad. The mechanism need not to be free education or paid education. That is something between those two.

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It should not be free to everyone. However, if a student maintains an A average throughout high school, I believe as a reward they should be able to attend college tuition-free, regardless of their parent's income. Why not? It seems to me that many students are never rewarded for their efforts and that many scholarships are need-based only. Those are fine, but  why not reward students regardless of need on their efforts alone?

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Maybe higher education should not be free for everyone, but I think it is a terrible thing that many young people these days are graduating from college and starting their working lives as much as $40,000 in debt! As many of us have learned from experience, debts like that, with accruing interest, are a crushing weight that has a harmful psychological effect. There ought to be a better answer. I don't know what it is.

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I, too, agree that it should not be free. Many people feel a sense of entitlement when something is determined to be free. That said, people who feel like this may not have the desire to push themselves--as those who work for higher education.

 

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I don't think it should be free. There are too many free things as it is. We have to think of all the instructors, professors, and teachers who have spent a lot of money on their own college, and teaching is the means whereby they earn a living. In that sense, higher education is a two-fold blessing: helping us learn while helping teachers earn.

Also, I think higher education should be an earned privilege rather than a given one. That way, those who aspire to obtain a degree will have worked for it and will appreciate it versus having it just given to them.

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I'm not sure that state-funded (free is not really an accurate way to describe it) higher education is plausible in this country. But I would argue that we have a national interest in identifying and training talented people. Right now, our higher education system identifies and trains those people who are capable of paying for it. I do not pretend to have the answers, though service requirements are one option.  

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I also do not think higher education should be free for everyone--the cost would simply be too high in terms of taxation. We would also flood universities and colleges with students who weren't really serious or qualified, simply because it wouldn't cost them anything to get to college.

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I think speamerfam raises an interesting point, and from what I understand, she does not suggest that young adults would be forced into service, as francy17 states, but that they would have the option to go into some kind of service. The incentive for, say, two years, would be some free education. I'm not quite sure how this would work, but I think it's worth exploring.

With that said, I do not think education should be free for everyone. As stated in some of the above comments, the biggest issue would be paying for it- the money would have to come from somewhere. I do, however, think that everyone should have the opportunity to get a higher education if that is what they want, regardless of their socio-economic situation. These opportunities do exist in the form of federal student aid, grants, scholarships, and student loans. Some of this is, in fact, "free money," but it is earned based on merit and need. The loans are not free, and people have to pay them back, as they should.

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I agree with pohnpei397 that higher education should not be free in the sense that everyone has an unconditional entitlement to it.  However, I would like to see some sort of national service for all of our youth, a commitment of two years, perhaps, doing something for the country, whether it be serving in the military, acting as aides in the classroom, or even emptying bedpans. Once this service is accomplished, then a "free" education would be available.  This would solve a few problems, one being that many 17 and 18-year-olds are not ready for college, another being that this would give them some experiences to latch onto when they do go to college, yet another being that we should all be expected to give something to our country, and of course, promoting the notion that education is a privilege that should be earned. 

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This is largely a matter of opinion. In my opinion, higher education should not be free for everyone for a few reasons. 

First, if we make higher education free for everyone, our tax rates would go through the roof. They are high as it is even now. We can do with less taxes. If money were not an issue, then of course make education free, but this is not the situation. Money always plays an important factor. 

Second, not all people need higher education. I think more and more people are realizing this. To master a trade is a good option for many people. We have to come to terms with the fact that not all are intellectually curious. Moreover, higher education will not benefit everyone. 

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No, it should not be.  There are two reasons for this.

First, if higher education is free, too many people will enter college.  People will go to college even if it will really not benefit them.  They will waste their time and effort on something that will not help them that much.

Second and more importantly, it is not equitable to have free higher education.  People who can pay their own way ought to do so.  If higher education is free, we would essentially be taking money from every taxpayer (including those in the poorer classes) and using it to help middle and upper class people go to college.  This is not equitable.

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