By Paige Brier
There has been a lot of talk about community college access becoming free.
At first, this sounds like a great idea. But with these new changes comes some not-so-great outcomes.
When I first started my college career, I wondered how I was going to pay for my secondary education.
But after doing some research I found out about Pell grants, loans and scholarships.
College can be affordable if you carefully plan the financial aid side of it.
I also find that by paying for my education and doing the work to pay for my college experience, I have a different type of pride in my education. I work harder to pass because it’s my money going down the drain if I don’t.
If college were free, it would be like high school and the opportunity might be taken for granted.
There is also some political backlash for the free-college scenario. With the government paying the bill, Congress would have to find the money to cover it, which would result in higher taxes.
If we spend billions on free community college education, the result would be higher taxes or less spending elsewhere.
It also could allow the government to determine the schools’ course offerings.
Many extracurricular activities would likely have to be cut.
If schools declined the federal money, they would need to find some other ways to find revenue.
I have a problem with the word free in this situation. Nothing in this world is free. The samples at the grocery stores still are bought with money from somebody’s pocket.
I feel employment could have issues as well.
What about entry-level jobs that do not require a degree? We need every position filled for this country to work as well as it has.
With education being free to American citizens, there would be no need for federal grants.
Need-based scholar-ships and grants would no longer be useful. The drive for some students to excel in high school to get these scholarships would go away. Why work hard for it, if it’s handed to you?
Community colleges would need to expand their campuses, due to the increase of students attending.
But there are some other, troubling aspects to this. How could hard-strapped private colleges compete with the government-supported community colleges?
More people will question, do I want to go to a free college or go with the expensive private college?
I believe that the government should help lower the cost of community colleges, but not make it free.
If the foot work is done and you show enthusiasm for your education, secondary education can become more than a pipe- dream.
Instead of college being free, it should be on a sliding scale for those who would have a really hard time being able to afford college.
I believe secondary education is well worth the investment, by inspiring new generations to discover new innovations and continued prosperity.
They will become leaders and role models to lead future generations to success.