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Should Colleges be Tuition-Free?
By: Zeniya Cooley
Many people look forward to the college experience; they may be attending school in a different city, so there are new people and new places; they may be eager to begin their new classes; or they may be excited to be entering the real world. Those are common reasons to be delighted about college, but college expenses can be formidable to students, and that causes individuals to question whether they should even attend school. One question is should colleges be made tuition-free? Students express jubilance at the mere thought while people who run the university may not be so happy. However, there are a significant amount of students who leave college in debt, and that debt can take years to pay off.
I don’t think college should be completely free because those universities use some of that money to make sure the students receive an excellent education and have plenty of opportunities to improve themselves (whether through extracurricular activities or through a center devoted to preparing students for internships and future professions). However, the price should definitely be adjusted because, according to College Board, tuition expenses have been steadily rising over the years, and there are other fees students will have to pay.
College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing 2016” noted the many increases in tuition for public and private colleges and whether the student was attending from in-state or out-of-state; the expenses were recorded from the 2016-2017 academic year. For the 2016-17 school year, public four-year universities had an average in-state tuition of $9,650. (It rose 2.4% from 2015-16.) Public four-year universities had an average out-of-state tuition of $24,930. (It rose 3.6% from 2015-16.) Private nonprofit four-year universities had an average tuition of $33,480. (It rose 3.6% from 2015-16.)
That information makes students afraid of attending college because they could be indebted to the school for many years. Nevertheless, it is important for people to attain a college education because, according to CNN, “College grads are also more likely to get ‘good jobs,’ which Georgetown [University] defines as paying more than $53,000 a year.” In order for more people to be excited about college, tuition needs to be lowered. It doesn’t have to be eliminated, but it does need to be reduced a reasonable amount.