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Lesson4: Should education be free ?

More People Would Go to College

By negating the large bill of a college education, we could see an increase in the amount of students able to attend college. This then creates a more well-educated workforce and a population that has better critical thinking skills. This could lead to more innovation in all areas of society.

First, a Few Basic Facts

The concept of publicly funded education goes all the way back to America’s Founding Fathers. In 1785, John Adams wrote: “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and must be willing to bear the expense of it.”

And, believe it or not, there actually was a time in the nation’s history when people could attend public colleges for free. The Morrill Act of 1862 enabled land-grant colleges to be created by states on federal lands so that higher education could become available to Americans in every social class. The aim was “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.”

Why Should Education Be Free for Everyone?

Proponents of free college believe that it would benefit the entire nation, not just the individual students who take advantage of it. They see it as both a private and public benefit. After all, more and more of today’s jobs are knowledge-based or require advanced technical skills. So a better-educated workforce would help fill many of the skills gaps that prevent America’s economy from growing faster.

Plus, since more people would be able to attain employer-desired credentials, more people would be able to take the good-paying jobs that often go unfilled. And that could result in billions of additional dollars circulating throughout the economy since people tend to spend more money when they have higher incomes and little or no debt. It could also mean that the government would take in a lot of extra tax revenues, which could go a long way toward paying for free public colleges.

What’s the Best Way Forward for Students Right Now?

Like other students, you might have a lot of options available to you. But the longer you wait to begin your post-secondary education, the more opportunities you may be missing out on. So even though “Should college be free?” is a question worth debating, the best action to take right now is probably to investigate the many helpful possibilities that already exist.

Why not check out some of the career-driven programs in your area just to see how you might benefit from them? Generate a list of nearby schools right now by putting your zip code into the following search tool!

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