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Q: Should Public Universities Become Tuition-Free?

yes

“I feel that public universities should be tuition free opposed to how they currently require a payment in order to attend. Coming from a student that currently attends a private high school and pays tuition to receive an education, I can personally justify paying to attend a university after graduating. I attended a public high school for one year where I was not paying a tuition. Now that I am, I can see why many students would choose to. I do, however, acknowledge and understand that there are a number of students that cant afford to attend a university because of tuition. Access to education is one of the most important ongoing issues in our world today. All students should have the right to an education, but unfortunately, many students lose that privilege when they cannot afford the tuition. People that cannot afford college miss out on an education solely because of the money that they don’t have. There is a misconception that people of lower income are uneducated and do not value their education. However, that is not the case. How is someone that deserves or desires a higher education supposed to receive one when they cannot afford it? Many people that want to continue to a university to better their future are restricted from doing so because of their financial standing. The system within our society is not only allowing but is reinforcing the false ideals of those uneducated by the lack of acknowledgment for those with little to no means of support. How is this fair? How is this justifiable? How is this a way for a society to function and thrive? Suppressing the potential of those who are of little resources is only reinforcing the systematic oppression that they are already facing due to our money-driven world. I do feel that public universities should be free because all people reserve the right to an education and it should not be stopped because of money or lack thereof. We have public high schools, so why should it be different for college? We are told from a young age that education is the most important thing in order to succeed, so why is the system allowing a multitude of people to miss out on that opportunity? Our lack of acknowledgement is stripping people of an education that they deserve. There would be many benefits to making public university tuition free. We would see a rise in numbers of people attending college after high school and as a result of this, many people would be met with new opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. We would be giving people the opportunity to break the stigma that they are burdened with and go to a university to get a good high paying job. As a society, we should want our peers to succeed because the success of others results in the success of our society as a whole. The idea of a world where all people can be well educated and opportunists is ideal. This is achievable and realistic so we should start by giving people the opportunity to a higher education. Money should not dictate the amount of education you can or cannot receive. Access to education is a human right. Let us be the change, let us be better. It all starts and ends with education.”

Katalina from California

no

“As the cost of college begins to increase, more and more Americans begin to fight for free access to public universities. Unfortunately, eliminating college tuition is not quite possible. Public universities should not become tuition-free because that would decrease the value of a degree and reduce the quality of public schools. Removing college tuition would provide more people with an opportunity to advance their education at a university. At first, this may seem like a great thing until it gets to the point where everyone has a PhD. This can, in a way, be considered inflation. If everyone has a college degree, the value of them will decrease. Also, allowing everyone to have access to a higher level of education would reduce the competition needed to obtain certain degrees and certifications. For example, if everyone was able to become a doctor or a lawyer, then the amount of people working in those professions would be immense. As those careers become more popular, the amount of people working at places like Walmart and Starbucks would decrease, making it difficult to purchase the necessary items for survival. In order for our economy to flow effectively, there has to be a healthy balance between education and jobs. The quality of public universities will also be affected if college tuition is eliminated. College tuition is necessary to keep a university running because some of the money can be put towards paying professors and other faculty members on campus. Every faculty member on campus plays a role in a student’s life, and without them, college would not be the same. If public universities were tuition-free, students would have to reside in low quality dorms and learn in poor quality classrooms. Without the necessary funds, public universities would look like rest stops: filthy and overcrowded. While everyone would like to be given an education for free, it is not reasonable, and it is not necessarily free either. Even if students do not pay for college tuition directly, they will still be paying for an education through an increase in taxes. A more reasonable solution would be to reduce college tuition to lower the amount of debt that students accrue, making it slightly easier to pay off student loans. Unfortunately, even if tuition was reduced, some people would still not be able to afford college. Perhaps the best way to solve the issue is for bigger universities and organizations to offer more scholarships and for high schools to inform students on how to receive free money. In conclusion, in order to maintain the value of degrees and the quality of universities, students should be required to pay to expand their knowledge. By limiting the amount of students that can afford college tuition, competition is increased, making a college degree more attractive to society. Moreover, tuition is necessary to help universities provide an advanced education for students in a safe and clean environment. Having tuition ensures that all of the students at a university are there because they genuinely want to succeed in life, which distinguishes college from high school.”

Sumer from Virginia

Think the Vote helps you to understand controversial topics and current events. Thinking through your vote is more than showing up on Election Day and picking the person that you like the best—it’s showing an interest in the world and the issues that surround you every day.

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“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”

– President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961