Catherine Hillnov through the article ‘Free Tuition Is Not the Answer’ strongly expresses her concern on free tuition. The author’s purpose in writing the article was to shade some light on the impacts of free college tuition program. She strongly criticizes the actions taken by politicians who politicize the idea of college affordability. According to Catherine, the matter on free college tuition deserves serious attention, open-mindedness and a balanced exploration of the potential drawbacks, benefits, and alternative. Whilst it is very common to put the spotlight on the positive impacts of free tuition, the major setback of the proposal also needs to be addressed. Catherine, however, insisted on the fact that the written proposal would not favor students from middle and low-income families. In fact, any written proposal with regard to free tuition will result in a significant reduction of learning resources and in-need financial aid.
The author goes further to advocate for policies that would help in reducing the amount of tuition fee being charged by schools with an aim of increasing the need-based financial grants. According to Catherine, there is no need for the school to scrap off the entire tuition fee. Catherine concludes on the fact that free tuition would only favor students from high-end families whereas increasing need-based financial grants will make college education affordable for low and middle-income earning households. Hence, this paper tries to answer the question on the impacts of tuition fee reduction to the low and middle-income earners.
According to the National Centre for Education Statistics, approximately 20.5 million students are expected to get enrolled in different colleges and universities. This astonishing figure constitutes an average increase of about 5.2 million since the year 2000. However, students from middle and low-income earner families lag behind when it comes to attendance and graduation. According to most analysis, a vast majority of students’ failure to graduate is attributed by some of the internal and external factors. Some of these common factors include; a wide cut in government funds, soaring operations costs that have hiked tuition fee, increasing competition from an educational model and the fast-evolving technology (CQ Press 198). The number of students who end up not completing their studies is rapidly increasing as a result of the soaring tuition fees and debts.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Land Graft College Act into law which made him as the founder of the largest system of funded universities (Keith 116). This move was aimed at making college education free and accessible for all American students. Initially, the move was effective because of the minimal number of students attending college. However, due to the soaring economy, the number of students who befit from the funds has reduced significantly. This is primarily because the amount of tuition fee has also risen in such a manner that has become unaffordable for the foundation to pay fees for more students (Heller 15).
For instance, most of the public colleges and universities have managed to offer free education to approximately 80% of the nation’s College and University students (CQ Press 199). Moreover, they are known to admit a larger number of students who come from the middle and low-income families. The students who belong to the poorest families are also given monthly stipends by the federal or state government with an aim of enabling the students to fend for their most basic needs. This has greatly improved the students’ performance as they continue to maintain a regular attendance in class.
In conclusion, free college education is not the best answer to providing education to the vulnerable society. This is because. A vast majority of the students belonging to poverty ridden families would not sufficiently benefit from the program. According to Keith (2016), the federal government and education administrators need to come up with a new and effective strategy that would enable the poor hapless students to get hope through education.
Heller, Donald E. The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability. Baltimore [u.a: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2001. Print.
Issues for Debate in Sociology: Selections from Cq Researcher. Los Angeles: SAGE/Pine Forge, 2010. Print.
Issues for Debate in American Public Policy: Selections from Cq Researcher. , 2014. Print.
Keith, Ellison. The Argument for tuition-free college: The American Prospect. , 2016 Print.