Should Community College be Free?

All students in the area are able to enroll in classes at the community college without having to pay tuition. In such a college, various courses are provided for a set amount of time after which students are thought to have learned the required technical skills. The cost of a college education must come from somewhere other than student expenses if it is to be free. Taxes and donations from well-wishers and charitable groups are the main sources of funding for free education. Students, parents, donors, banks, the federal government, and nonprofit groups are some of the parties involved in the free program. The people who stand to gain the most from free higher education are students and parents. Students will not struggle to pay tuition fees and will direct their focus to academic performance. Parents will be greatly relieved since they will not be required to spend their resources educating their children. Instead, parents can save the resources and use them to carry out other activities such as developmental projects. The federal government will bear the burden of financing a free college education. Similarly, taxpayers will be affected as the tax levied on commodities will slightly increase so that free college education is funded. Banks will be affected too as the number of loans taken to fund college and university education will significantly reduce.

The average cost of designing and implementing an efficient curriculum for a community college education program in the United States (U.S.) is estimated at $3.3 billion (Thatte 2). Out of the total burden, the federal government can pay 75 percent of the cost while the remaining amount is paid by the state's government. For students in public universities, 66 percent of them have taken loans to fund their education. The student loan debt in the United States has increased to approximately $1.45 trillion. The students are burdened by the education loan since they can take up to 20 years to fully pay the borrowed funds. The repayment rate is estimated to be at $351 per month for each student.

The funding for free community college can come from different sources. The federal government should contribute the greater amount which is collected in the form of tax at the national level. The collected funds are then distributed to different states which in turn allocate them to the respective community colleges. The State government should contribute a certain percentage of the total cost towards free community college education. Other expenses can be covered by grants issued by donors and charitable organizations. Businesses within the particular U.S. state should support a program that collects donations from the business itself and its customers towards supporting free community education. Besides, the students should engage in work-study programs to support their college education. Additionally, a significant number of students should be given full scholarships for their college and university education. Further, the government should impose a tax on every stock and bond transaction traded in the United States (Kelderman and Carlson 6). The tax accrued from such transactions is substantial and can be used to support free community college education. Alternatively, the government can engage in practices that will lower the cost of college education for students. For instance, the government can charge very low-interest rates on the loans taken by students for their college education.

Establishment of free community colleges and administering of free college and university education has been supported by approximately 62 percent of Americans. The percentage represents two-thirds of the total population in the United States. However, 3 percent of Americans do not know whether they are for or against free college education. Also, 35 percent of Americans oppose the establishment of free education at public colleges and universities (P[ETH]rez-PeOa 5). The opponents of free college education have cited that it will produce an excess of college graduates than the market can absorb. Moreover, those who oppose implementation of the program have asserted that it is difficult for the government to support free college education. The federal government is the main financier of the free college education program and has to show unwavering support. Other proposed source of finances for a free college education is not consistent and hence less reliable. The proponents of free college education believe that the American students are talented and bright; hence they should not be barred from attending college due to lack of tuition fees. They claim that having a skilled workforce is imperative for a sustainable economic drive.

Different countries have embraced the aspect of free community college education. Such countries include France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. In France, the students in public universities incur a little expense of $237 out of the total college fees. The expense is used to cater for the healthcare services they receive while they are undertaking their courses. The students are glad that they will not have a debt to pay after their graduation. The program has assisted students in France to spare some time and do part-time jobs to earn their upkeep. In Germany, college fee is very little, approximately $592 in 2015 (Stromquist and Monkman 26). Currently, the fee has been reduced, and all students can afford a college education. In Denmark, the college education is free, and the only cost students incur that of writing materials. The program has benefited students from both rich and humble backgrounds. In Sweden, college fees are free, and the Swedish government gives students who study full-time $200 every month. In Finland, the college education is free. The government and students cover every cost are given a chance to choose a course of their choice.

When free college education program is established in the United States, many students will be able to study courses offered at different public universities and colleges. The increase in the number of students will mean that the resources at the college will be strained. The classrooms, social halls, public address systems, the academic teaching staff, and other resources such as the catering services will be over-utilized. Therefore, in designing the free community education program, there is need of considering the capacity of the available resources. The colleges and universities should only admit the number of students depending on the capacity of their infrastructures. When the campus resources suffer, there is a likelihood of compromising on the quality of education offered. The number of residential houses for students studying on a full-time basis should be enough to avoid overcrowding. The number of classes too should be sufficient to accommodate both part-time and full-time students. There should be well-equipped laboratories for purposes of the courses that need practical experiments (Mellow 16). The social amenities in the campus should be able to accommodate the number of students undertaking courses in the college or university. Further, the number of academic staff members should be proportional to the number of students admitted for the courses offered at the institution.

In conclusion, the idea of a free college education through community colleges has been supported by many Americans. Approximately, a third of the United States population support the idea of giving students the education they need through community colleges. Other countries around the world have a working program on free college education. In such programs, students are required to pay small amounts of money for their healthcare services. In other countries, all the costs are paid for by the government. In countries such as Finland, all the expenses of the college education are paid for by the government. In Germany and France, college and university students are required to pay a very little amount of money for the essential services, but the federal government covers all the tuition fee expenses. The cost of establishing a free education program for college and university students is expensive and requires the intervention of the federal government. The resources to pay for free community college education can be obtained from taxation, donors, and charitable organizations. The federal government should cover much of the expenses since it can be a reliable source. The benefits of establishing free college education program are numerous. Students from both poor and stable backgrounds can access college education and pursue their careers. A skilled workforce assists in boosting the economy through innovations and efficient business practices. Therefore, it is appropriate for the United States to consider the introduction of free college education in all States.

Works Cited

Kelderman, Eric, and Scott Carlson. "Who Has a Stake in Obama's Free CommunityCollege Plan?" The Chronicle of Higher Education, (23 Jan. 2015):1-8. Academic OneFile, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Mellow, Gail O., and Cynthia M. Heelan. Minding the dream: The process and practice of the American community college. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

P[ETH]rez-PeOa, Richard. "Tennessee governor urges 2 free years of community college and technical school." New York Times, 5 Feb. 2014, p. A12 (L). Academic OneFile, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

Stromquist, Nelly P., and Karen Monkman, eds. Globalization and education: Integration and contestation across cultures. R&L Education, 2014.

Thatte Revati "California weighs pros, cons of debt-free college for students." UWIRE Text, 12 Feb. 2017, p. 1. Academic OneFile, Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.

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