The Ongoing Discussion of Lifting College Tuition

Jaden Boyd

“Kids are just like adults: they will work to get what they want. If they know they have to work hard, listen in class, and come to school every day with their homework done to get into college, they’ll do that. If they know they can get by with less and less work and still get into college, that is what they will do,” stated Albert Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers. An ongoing debate for years has been whether or not tuition-free college should become a reality, and if free college would really be enough to save higher education. Experts with much experience and background knowledge in the education field, such as Albert Shanker, believe that despite the large obstacle that college tuition is, simply making it free would not benefit the students. Supporters of free college insist that nothing but good can come from eliminating tuition, however, experts in educational places of work argue that free college is not enough, and reform must happen with the students themselves before simply making college an entitlement. When many hear the idea of free college, they are surprised that anyone would disagree with the proposition. With the surplus of young adults desiring to attend college, but being held back by the intimidating cost and wanting to avoid a student debt looming over them years after graduation, surely there must be a better way to go about paying for education. Supporters of free tuition believe that no harm can come from providing students with a higher education, and they’re right…to a certain extent. However, when the obstacle of paying for college is eliminated, the motivation students once had is dropped exponentially. When working towards scholarships and other cost reducing tactics, drive for success is high; but with the opportunity of college being placed directly in the palm of their hand, why should they continue to be competitive within their education?