Senator Bernie Sanders is promoting a free college act in the Senate, and makes it sound so great and believes that it will solve the student loan “crisis”, but really, it will never do so. People go to college to excel in a field of study to pursue an occupation in that field. Some go to two year community colleges, and some go to a more prestigious four year institution. College is not for everyone, and cannot be a good fit for many. Those people can go into the trades, or other jobs that do not require a college degree. For those that promote free college, they do not explain all of the other costs that will have to be paid by tax-paying citizens. No one should have to pay for someone else’s schooling. According to Max Page and Dan Clawson, authors of It’s Time to Push for Free College, college is a necessity for people of age, and free college will solve student loans, and students would be able to afford a higher education but in reality, free college is not a necessity because many jobs do not need a college degree, taxes would increase significantly, the college tuition is expensive for a reason, and if there was free college, more important programs like medicare, social security, and welfare funding would be cut all for some kid to go to college.
Free College is thought to be an amazing new change in American society, and sources state that it will solve many problems for college aged people. Max Page and Dan Clawson state that college is becoming a necessity. They also argue that college should be paid by public dollars. Page and Clawson support their claim by giving the fact that “ As several recent studies have underscored, a college degree is a pathway to a more stable life, financially and otherwise, even for students who struggled in high school” (Page/Clawson). Is that really true? The authors attempts to strengthen their claim by stating “Other studies show that there is no better short-term or long-term investment for the rest of society than higher education. For example, one study shows that new spending on public colleges, which would be sparked by an influx of more students, produces more economic activity than a similar-sized tax cut, or similar spending on roads and bridges” (Page/Clawson). Yet, again, is that quote true? Where is the source? Page and Clawson go on about how many people cannot go to college because they cannot afford it, and this only affects lower class people. Finally, Page and Clawson concludes with the quote that “Why do Social Security and Medicare survive while welfare is gutted? Why does universal K-12 education get much more funding, in state after state, while public higher education has seen massive cuts over the past generation?” (Page/Clawson). They question why kindergarten through 12th grade students receive more public aid than colleges, and they wonder why social security and medicare receive more aid that college. Page and Clawson put their arguments out clearly, but have a lack of reality. Believe it or not, there are many reasons why these two authors are indubitably wrong.
The idea of free college is thought to be an amazing new addition to society, but, in reality, it will burden not just the students themselves, but the tax paying people. Page and Clawson’s claim that college is a necessity for a job rests upon the questionable assumption that it is not. Many jobs do not need a college degree, such as a Dental Hygienist, a Clinical Lab Technician, a licensed Practical Nurse, and a Radiation Therapist, just to name a few occupations that make over eighty-thousand dollars a year which do not require a four year college degree (Koening). Therefore, Page and Clawson are false on that term. Next, they bring up that college would be paid by public dollars. This would mean a large tax jump for the lower, middle, and upper class, strickening people with even more taxes to pay for other people’s college that their own money shouldn’t be used for (Why Free College Is a Bad Idea).Tax Payers have their own college to pay for, let alone a mortgage, utility bills, K-12 schooling, taxes, insurance, maybe even private schooling, and cars just to name a few. They should not be handing away their hard earned money for some kid not of their own to go to college. Page and Clawson’s quote that “Other studies show that there is no better short-term or long-term investment for the rest of society than higher education. For example, one study shows that new spending on public colleges, which would be sparked by an influx of more students, produces more economic activity than a similar-sized tax cut, or similar spending on roads and bridges” (Page/Clawson). What other studies? Where is the source for their statement? Without a named source to backup their claim, their argument is invalid. Free College in England did not bring in more students, it actually brought more in when free college was abolished (Holmquist).They go on rambling about how people cannot go to college because of how expensive it is, but those fees are larger at larger schools, more prestigious schools, and schools for smarter people. If college aged people need an affordable tuition, they should stay in state, and research a college that would be a good fit for them, and they need to consider the price tag that comes with it. Large state schools need to have a massive income coming in to preserve the institution. If there was free college, lazy students would take advantage of the things a college has to offer, and this would drag the college into supporting those lazy students who don't take class, treat themselves bad, and don't work hard like a college student should. Then, the lazy students drop out (Why Free College is a Bad Idea). In England, when free college was let go, there was a higher student enrollment when college was student paid. “But higher prices did not reduce access: enrollments climbed after the end of free college, and enrollment gaps between rich and poor students narrowed” (Holmquist). People in England realized that they had to pay for their degree, and college became a place to be enriched, and the enrollment of students was from every class, low and high. Students were able to pay off their debt in ten years or less. People realize that they have to make the money they paid for college count, so they work hard and go to class, and receive their degree with their hard work dedication. Page and Clawson then go on to question “Why do Social Security and Medicare survive while welfare is gutted? Why does universal K-12 education get much more funding, in state after state, while public higher education has seen massive cuts over the past generation?” (Page/Clawson). Universal K-12 education receives more funding because it is required by law. It is not required to go to college in the United States, henceforth, college is not state funded. In Illinois, “Illinois students can legally drop out of school once they turn 17” (Gjelten). Public schools are funded from kindergarten to senior year in high school because it is required to go to school from age 6-17. That is why there is more universal funding for public elementary, middle, and high school. Social security is given more money because it is a needed to assist seniors who are running on a low bank account, and without any money, they could not support themselves. Medicare is funded more because it helps seniors pay for all of their health needs. It is more important to stay alive than to go to college, and that is the reason of medicare being more funded than free college. Clearly, free college would be a bad idea for the United States because many jobs do not need a college degree, taxes would increase significantly, the price of college helps pay for the institution to stay in place, and with free college, programs like medicare, social security, and welfare funding would be cut all for some kid to go to college. (Why Free College Is a Bad Idea).
Overall, free college would be detrimental to the American economy, and to the American lifestyle, ripping more money from the hands of taxpayers who need to use their income for their interests. The United States Senate should drop the idea. It will not work. Free college would be just like a high school diploma, every student would have the same thing on their diploma saying that they passed college, but in order to pursue a masters or graduate degree, students have to pay more money to achieve the even higher education that is needed for their degree. In Germany, there is free baseline four year college, but students there have to pursue more schooling for many jobs. They will pay more money for grad school than the US will for a four year degree. Finally, free college is a horrible idea. It will become a program like welfare where people unwilling to do anything will take advantage of government opportunities to get away with doing nothing. Bernie Sanders should drop his idea of free college, in order for the United States to not drift towards becoming a socialist country, and to slam some sense into students that they need to work hard for what they want.
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