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A free college education for all? That’s been the dream of many an idealist.

President Obama certainly shares this goala year ago he said “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we’ve got a world-class education system for everybody. That is a prerequisite for prosperity.” State university systems, particularly in New York and California, are tasked to provide all studentseven those of limited meansaccess to higher education. Many, especially on the political Left, view public support of education as a cornerstone of a free and prosperous society.

Thus the current economic hard times have produced great distress. Both SUNY in New York and the three California state systems, along with many others, have been forced to dramatically raise tuition. Many states have cut back on supportthe sad and familiar joke being that public institutions have gone from being state supported to merely state located. Federal funds are also threatened: graduate students will no longer receive interest deferments, earmarks (a traditional source of money for higher education) are no longer available, and government grant money is increasingly harder to come by. More financial woe looks likely in the near future.

On top of this many questions are raised about the value of higher education. Is college teaching what students really need to know? Will it really be able to guarantee graduates a place in the middle class as it has done in the past? Do the benefits of college justify the increasingly burdensome student loan debt that our nation’s youth is now saddled with? Higher education, already unaffordable, may no longer be worth the cost.

It all looks pretty grim.

And yet I believe we are on the cusp of a new world in higher education a world that can provide a free (or nearly free) college education for all.

The recession has brought higher education’s woes into sharp relief, but it has not

caused them. Colleges, designed for the world in the 1960s and 1970s, have not changed with the times. Colleges are still run as top-down bureaucracies rather than bottom-up communities. Outside of government, few other organizations

operate this way. Anybody can publish and sell a book at Google and Apple let their customers determine most of their content. Walmart empowers even its most junior employees to order products and set prices. Wikipedia allows any reader to write or update an article. Higher ed’s institutional structures aren’t like that at all, featuring top-down, inefficient, bureaucratic command management. Maintaining this old-fashioned system is ever more expensive and increasingly impossible.

So here are some suggestions for how higher ed can imitate successful organizations, improve quality, and reduce costs even to zero.

Let volunteers teach classes: This isn’t simply about saving labor costs (though it is that, too); it is primarily about crowd-sourcing. Just as Amazon, Google, and Wikipedia are able to tap into the expertise of millions, colleges can do the same by blurring the distinction between faculty, student, town, and gown. In an on- line environment there is no limit on the number of classes that can be taught, and no reason to restrict class offerings to only those taught by paid employees. Founded in 2009, University of the People will exclusively use volunteer faculty. Indeed, the distinction between faculty and student is hopelessly blurred in their model. As a result they aspire to be a tuition-free university open to any high school grad anywhere in the world. Initially they are offering programs in business administration and computer science, and are seeking regional accreditation. While there is no tuition, there are some fees, but the total cost for a bachelor’s degree will likely be a few hundred dollars, depending on where you live. By comparison, Texas’ initiative to offer bachelor’s degrees for

$10,000 looks like a very modest goal.

While UoPeople exists solely on-line, residential colleges can and should take advantage of volunteers. Indeed, classes intended primarily for personal enrichment (as opposed to career preparation) are possibly better taught by volunteers than paid faculty. Who better to teach Shakespeare than somebody whose primary motivation is a love of Shakespeare? Why not empower the waitress down the street (the one with a PhD in English) to teach a class on Hamlet? Just as with Amazon and Wikipedia, crowd-sourcing results in the best coming forward and leading the way. The university will need to establish rules that enable the winnowing and selection processjust as Amazon does very

successfully with the customer reviews and the best-seller rankingswithout in any way depriving others of opportunity.

Of course volunteers may not be grading papers. Some of that can be avoided by asking peers, with instructor oversight, to grade papers (as UoPeople will certainly be doing), but that brings us to the second requirement of a (nearly) free education.

Automate almost everything: In particular, automate grading. There are today few reasons for any human being to be grading math or science homeworkat least through the sophomore level. Indeed, faculty graders can be unfair and unreliableI speak from experience. Computer grading can be more reliable and certainly much cheaper. Even for the “softer” subjects computers can be an asset. On-line campuses at minimum run English papers through Turnitin and a grammar- and spell-checker before a grader even sees the paper, eliminating the most tedious labor.

But where computerization isn’t possible, grading can be out-sourced. Western Governors University hires graders for whom both the student and the faculty member remain anonymous, and who are required to calibrate their work against other graders to ensure consistency. This is not free, but it is cheaper than faculty graders and almost certainly better. For some classes it may even be possible to outsource grading to India or the Philippines to further reduce costs.


<a href=Salesforce Voice 7 Secrets To A Successful Job Interview With volunteer faculty and computerized/outsourced grading, the cost of many classes can approach zero. But there are still some classes that need to be professionally taught and for which grading is not a primary expense. I’m thinking of the core introductions to the disciplines, such as Intro to Psychology, Calculus, or General Chemistry, etc. How can these be taught more cheaply? Let the winner take all : If my grandchildren ever decide to take calculus, I want them to have a n excellent instructor. Indeed, I’d like them to have the best instructor in the country. In times past that would require attending an elite liberal arts college. But today (or more likely, tomorrow) there are more and better choices. These already exist for languages. A quirky company called Rosetta Stone has largely put college foreign language instruction out of business. For approximately $200/semester one can learn almost any language one wants — not quite free, but much cheaper and (apparently) more effective than the college classroom. Rosetta Stone is a good example of winner-take-all; it has cornered the market not because of some government license, nor because only their employees know languages, but because they are better and cheaper. " id="pdf-obj-3-2" src="pdf-obj-3-2.jpg">

With volunteer faculty and computerized/outsourced grading, the cost of many classes can approach zero. But there are still some classes that need to be professionally taught and for which grading is not a primary expense. I’m thinking of the core introductions to the disciplines, such as Intro to Psychology, Calculus, or General Chemistry, etc. How can these be taught more cheaply?

Let the winner take all: If my grandchildren ever decide to take calculus, I want them to have an excellent instructor. Indeed, I’d like them to have the best instructor in the country. In times past that would require attending an elite liberal arts college. But today (or more likely, tomorrow) there are more and better choices.

These already exist for languages. A quirky company called Rosetta Stone has largely put college foreign language instruction out of business. For approximately $200/semester one can learn almost any language one wantsnot quite free, but much cheaper and (apparently) more effective than the college classroom. Rosetta Stone is a good example of winner-take-all; it has cornered the market not because of some government license, nor because only their employees know languages, but because they are better and cheaper.

Why not do this with calculus, chemistry, psychology and all the rest? This will eventually happen. In each of those disciplines a product (or, hopefully, two or three competing products) will emerge that is manifestly better than anything any individual college can produce in-house. Why has it not already happened? With foreign languages one can either speak the language or nota short conversation will test. Whether or not one gets credit for the class is completely irrelevant. The Carnegie Units awarded by academic language departments therefore have no value and are unsellable.

With general chemistry, on the other hand, it is much harder to know whether or not the student has actually learned anything—a short conversation won’t do. Therefore the Carnegie Units are still valued, and a general chemistry class that doesn’t come with credit will find few takers. What is needed is a recognized way to establish competence independent of Carnegie Units. Once that happens the winner-take-all world quickly follows.

A current project at Stanford University offers a path forward. Stanford is teaching a free, on-line class in artificial intelligence. As of August 15th news reports indicated that 58,000 people had registered. I have a friend who is signed up, and he reports that now enrollment is over 100,000. Stanford is not awarding credit for this classno Carnegie Units involved. Instead they are doing something much cleverer and much more subversive.

Stanford will rank the students in order of how well they do in the class and send them a certificate accordingly. Coming in first in a class of 100,000 will be quite an achievementworth far more than any Carnegie Units. That person (or more likely, thousand people) will have a credential they can take to the bank. More generally, the organizations that offer world class instruction in the disciplines can keep their own records of how well students do. This will serve as a transcript, rendering the college transcript and the associated Carnegie Units irrelevant and unmarketable.

Carnegie Units are a problem, and that brings us to the final suggestion.

Break the cartel: What might be called the “Carnegie Cartel” survives because it serves the best interest of existing institutions. Like all good cartels, it reduces

competition by raising the cost of entry and by fixing prices. It is enforced by accrediting agencies, appropriately run as voluntary associations of existing institutions, dedicated to keeping newcomers out. Acquiring and retaining accreditation is expensive: including faculty and staff time along with the opportunity cost, a seven-figure price tag for an accreditation visit is not an unreasonable estimate. This does not include considerable efforts spent on on- going assessment, processes for continuous improvement, and collecting all the other ever more arcane documentation demanded by accreditors.

A cartel maintains a grip on the market because it controls an essential resource that everybody needs. For the Carnegie Cartel this resource is access to state and federal financial aidmoney not available to unaccredited organizations and individuals. But this resource is now threatened by several developments.

First, the recession has simply reduced the funds available.

Second, many shady for-profit colleges have successfully gamed the system and are now reaping a disproportionate share of funds, corrupting the entire enterprise.

Third, the cartel’s currency—Carnegie Unitsare no longer a very good proxy for educational achievement. The system is flummoxed by on-line or blended learning, not to mention on-line short courses taught by volunteers. Accrediting agencies have never heard of crowd-sourcing.

Finally, and most important, the advent of free or nearly free education eliminates the value of the cartel’s franchise. Federal funds are not necessary.

No cartel serves the interest of its customers, and the Carnegie Cartel is no exception. It has frozen an over-priced, outmoded and dysfunctional educational system in place. It needs to be broken up. I believe that is gradually happening now. Breaking the cartel will sharply reduce the cost of higher education across the board.

A free college education for all? The UoPeople experiment is testing the free education model today. If it is successful, it will spread more or less rapidly, and even if that particular effort fails it will only be a few years before somebody tries again. So I am not presenting a radical vision for the distant future, but rather describing something that is happening now or very soon. A (nearly) free college education for everybody is not only possible, but likely.

But it will be a bare-bones education, and many students will want to pay for something more. What might they pay for?

The residential college experience is valuable even if the general chemistry class is out-sourced. The college can provide accompanying laboratory experiences and/or recitation sections.

Students need a peer group. Classmates form the beginning of a professional network that will last a lifetime. Attending classes and studying together is valuable, even if the classes themselves are free. Peer group facilitators will be in demand.

Some classesanalytical chemistry comes to mindrequire expensive equipment along with a technically trained instructor. This will never be free.

College faculty won’t get paid much for teaching, but they can still earn a living as tutors, research mentors, coaches, team-leaders, advisers, counselors. These skills cannot be computerized and students will pay for them.

I am in favor of a free college education for all, despite the inevitable dislocation in the higher education community. I hope these changes happen sooner rather than later. But I am not starting a political movement. Activism is not necessarythe die is cast and much of what I predict is already taking place. Not that I’m against political activismif you want to do that be my guest.

But could I ask you to please wait for a few years until after I retire?

Daniel Jelski is a professor of chemistry at SUNY New Paltz, and previously served as dean of the School of Science & Engineering. Update: The original version of this piece incorrectly stated that students at UoPeople grade their own papers.

But it will be a bare-bones education, and many students will want to pay for something Today, President Obama expanded on his plan for a government program that would make community college free for millions of students in the United States. " id="pdf-obj-6-48" src="pdf-obj-6-48.jpg">

Today, President Obama expanded on his plan for a government program that would make community college free for millions of students in the United States.

Here’s how it breaks down: Federal funding would cover 75 percent of the average cost of community college, and states would handle the rest. In order to participate in the program, students have to attend the colleges at least “half-time,” making “steady progress” toward completion of their program, while maintaining a 2.5 GPA. Participating community colleges will have to offer programs that either transfer credits to four-year schools, or provide in- demand occupational training.

If Obama’s large-scale proposal makes it through Congress, it could have long- term benefits not just for the students that receive free education, but for society as a whole.

According to the administration, if all 50 states opt-in to the program it could help some nine million students per year, and save full-time community college students an average of $3,800 in tuition every year.

Obama officially announced the initiative at a community college in Tennessee, whose own similar Tennessee Promise programwhich will be made available to this year’s graduating high school seniors—draws from a state lottery fund to pay for student scholarships. If Obama’s large-scale proposal makes it through Congress, it could have long-term benefits not just for the students that receive free education, but for society as a whole.

A 2009 study in Contemporary Economic Policy found that enrollment in academic programs at community colleges had a significant effect on

subsequent earnings. That’s especially true for women. The study found that

females who graduated with a two-year degree earned almost 46 percent more than high school-educated women. Male graduates, meanwhile, earned 12 percent more than high school-educated males. Surprisingly, even women

and men who didn’t complete their degrees still earned roughly 10 and five

percent more, respectively, over their high school-educated counterparts.

A 2014 executive summary from the American Association of Community Colleges noted similar earning benefits for students:

The average associate’s degree completer will see an increase in earnings of $10,700 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma or equivalent. Over a working lifetime, this increase in earnings amounts to an undiscounted value of approximately $470,800 in higher income. The present value of the higher future wages that community college students will receive over their working careers is $469.3 billion.

Community college can benefit society in several ways, according to the report. Higher education is correlated with lifestyle changes that end up costing society less for health costs, crime, and unemployment. And the skills students acquire at community colleges benefit businesses by increasing worker productivity. The increased business output, coupled with the higher wages community college graduates earn, benefit society as a whole by raising prosperity and strengthening the economic base.

Obama’s proposed programstill in the very early stagesalready has its critics. The president’s proposal will still need the approval of Congress to ever take effect. That, like any other proposal that comes from the White House, will be a tough sell to a Republican caucus.


Knowledge should not come with a price tag. I actually wish it was how it was back in the days when people were taught their professions by other people while on the job, or accepted into schools based on high marks. Winning a scholarship should be attainable to all people who do well academically.




It's a right, not a privilege.


In the US, higher education is seen as a privilege and not a right, but not everyone has that privilege and with the way higher education costs now, less and less people will be able to go. Sure there's aid, but it's not enough to cover the rising costs without putting students into an insane amount of debt. There's only a limited amount of money one can take out without having that extra stress in their lives, and not everyone can get their parents to pay or help take out loans. For example, my parents couldn't cosign for me to take out student loans for college because their credit was so terrible (they lost their house a few years ago). I was then told by the financial aid office "you don't have to go to college if you can't afford it". Now a year has passed since then and I'm planning to drop out because the costs have risen even more and I'm getting less aid. Eventually this has to stop, because clearly the way things are going now don't work and they haven't for a long time now.




Education is the most important thing you can have. You can go anywhere with an education. We as humans need currency to get around and basically live, you wont have that if you dont have a job. A (good) job is acquired through an education. If you cannot afford an education, then you're considered a failure?






Everyone should have access to college educational opportunities. Just because you can't pay for it doesn't mean you shouldn't go. If higher education were free, maybe some people would be a bit brighter. And in my very personal opinion, if you haven't gone to college, then you should have no vote in whether college is free or not ...




Higher Education should be free!


some people cant afford it and if they really are showing intrest in getting a higher education they should be able not having to worry about the cost.




Higher Education should be free


People have more opportunities for job and employment if they are educated meaning they have access to material conditions which they need for better life such as health care and some necessary services which give protection and safety. In addition, if someone from a poor background got educated, he or she can escape from the poverty cycle and generation gets improved with the help of jobs and being employed as a result of higher education. Higher education means good jobs and employment. If more people are highly educated, people will be more considerate, responsible, independent,and reliable for some reasons. All people should be given the rights to free education to get rid of poverty and inhumanity. It doesn't mean people who aren't educated are inhumane. Of course, there are some people out there who are way more intelligent and ethical then people who are educated.




Yes, Yes, and Yes.


As more people get degrees, jobs that required a High School diploma are now demanding Associates and Bachelor degrees. The lower your degree the more years of experience are demanded from you by the firm you are applying to. As a result, a college degree is becoming a necessity for High School graduates in order to find a job that pays a living wage.

The government should fund the universities and colleges directly rather than give out loans to students so that the students will not be overburdened by debt and be forced to move back with their parents. People are more reluctant than ever to start a family because they feel they cannot handle the expenses of a child while the married couple have yet to pay Uncle Sam his money. People will be less likely to spend money, which is bad for the economy and businesses; especially when people are underemployed because of the current economic climate.

If the government wants to truly stimulate the economy, they will forgive student loan debt so that people can get that piece of paper that qualifies them for a job, start their lives, and get the money flowing out of the pockets and into the economy.

From a quality standpoint, making higher education a taxpayer funded entity will not diminish it's quality. What will diminish it's quality, however, are the individual professors that care more about their own projects and research than teaching students; which is what is happening today. The schools can remain prestigious by accepting those who meet their standards, prestige should not be based on how much money you spend for your degree.

Making higher education free is a fiscally and socially responsible decision that will ensure everyone has a chance to earn a degree without having to jump through hoops in order to get enough money to attend a college/university. This country could enjoy a well-informed and educated population that contributes a great deal to our nation. As it stands today we as a country are one of the least educated among first world nations, and I firmly believe that this is because higher education is out of reach for so many. This needs to change.



This is a no-brainer.


All we are hearing, is news of tuition rates increasing. This is not setting a very good example of the incentives for attending college. People need to be motivated, and feel inspired. College, is much more than memorizing key terms, for a quiz, suffering from sleep deprivation, and stressing over getting a 'REQUIRED' course cancelled at the last moment.

The focus, needs to be on the student's. Give student's the opportunity, and drive to discover the true joy of learning, without imposing all of the monetary constraints that have become so commonplace.




Education should be about inspiring ones mind , not just filling their head.


Education should be provided to every individual at no cost. Education should be out there to inspire peoples mind and not just filling their head with others perspective. Every individual has the right to learn and be educated, and have the opportunity to view this world in a different perspective and do something on their own. But the cost of education is so unaffordable to some mankinds that it is just ferocious for them to even consider paying those education bills off.




University is an easy way to change the economy


With a higher education status it is easier to find higher level jobs and is best for most people. If everyone was able to have access to university it would be easier for poorer people to change their living

situation. Also people who are smarter and cannot afford to go will then be able to go possibly help our country move forward in evolution.

likened ? Higher education is the mineral water that is produced by professors with high investment. It should not be free. Another reason is at free higher education leads to poor quality because it will be supplied or served by low paid (unmotivated) human resources. BRAVO GATS





Not entirely


There should be special student loans for those who have less money, but not free. If they could find a way to do this without raising taxes and increasing spending, I'd be fine. To be quite honest, that won't happen.




Absolutely not

(Global Village)


Generally I would say that it’s a good thing, to offer education to all for free. But if you take a special

view on this, you will notice, that the government cannot offer free education just like that. The government would have to make more money, so they would increase the taxes. So it’s another way of



And if you think, that everyone would have better chances for a job now, then you are wrong. Because there are also other skills asked for some jobs which you can’t learn at the university, for example practice experience. So it’s a bad thing, to offer free education to everyone.




No, because many vocations do not need or require higher education.


The cost of providing higher education would outweigh the benefits to society. Many vocational jobs require apprenticeships and in-house training, rather than a college degree. So, a college education would not be necessary for many. Furthermore, this would likely further exacerbate the unemployment issue, as there would simply be more qualified candidates vying for the same career opportunities.

Posted by: MarkBuII




No. as soon as it is free, the value of it will go down.


Money is needed to fund education, research, and advancements. Tuition is necessary, and as soon as you hand out education for free, the overall value of that education will go out the window.





If it's free, will we value it more or less?


If we made education free I feel that the value for education would plummet in a downward spiral, along with the value for education. The reason why we value our high education so much is because we know we're putting a lot on the line for the education we seek. The loans we have taken out for this education is what reminds us why we're pursing out this dream. If it was free we wouldn't have as much drive and not to mention many would abuse this education policy. If we made education free how would the professors who teach us get paid? Or the faculty who serves the school? There are many issues with making education free. But if they could lower tuition and give colleges more funding to help support students with their educational needs that would be the proper solution to this issue.




It could fail in the USA.


Look what people are doing with their rights, which are mostly free. Even if you got it free, that would just start different way of not letting in some people into the best schools. More tests, more everything. Making it free would make it good for some professors as the demand could go up, but then it would be just like a high school program.





There will be consequences.


Especially when it comes to other means of collecting money from the masses. It is highly likely that the government will expect income from other sources such as rise in tax and ultimately rise in everything possible. And to add, providing it for free means bad quality of education because everyone can afford to have it. Teachers will be less inspired to teach since what they do is something the children hardly value, because they got it for free. Schools also will be of less quality since everyone has access to it. In short, good things come with a price.




More qualified college grads competing for jobs will reduce pay for all.


There are already tons of graduating college students out there competing for the same few jobs. The more desperate they become, the more likely they will be to accept those "good" jobs at lower pay. Also I think it says a lot about a person who worked really hard to come up with the money to put themselves though school. In the U.S., I know from personal experience that anyone can do it if they put the time in and work hard enough. I earned the majority of my tuition working two jobs near minimum wage, I borrowed the rest and I am paying it off with the job the college degree helped win me. If it becomes free employers will expect it from everyone as a basic requirement, and having a college degree won't mean much more than having a high school diploma. This country cannot afford to be offering any more handouts, though I do favor this handout over funding some other country's war.

Max April 2, 2015 · 4:06 pm Once again, a topic that directly concerns today’s youth has been brought into the light.

As a junior from a low middle class family, college is a massive issue. However, the worst part of the issue is that people in my place tend to worry more about the cost of tuition more than the courses that a school offers. With the massive bags of money that

this country spends on its eerily large military and politician trust funds, I highly doubt that college costs, even community college costs, should be such a problem. Sadly, this

isn’t the case. Our money is less focused on those who actually need it as they struggle

through the educations that should be guiding their career paths. As a young person who will go to college in a few years, I am heavily disgusted by that fact.

President Obama, I applaud you. It’s about time that a man in power actually does

something beneficial for the little guy. See, I have no idea what conservative politicians

are thinking when they say that those who own colleges or run this country’s education system shouldn’t spend so much money on college students. I’d prefer that rich

individuals and those who run everything spend their gratuitously large budgets on something useful. Of course, that would involve rich people be selfless for once, and we

all know how rare that has been since…well, since the beginning, really. Considering

that the money will go to those who have the potential to make a large difference (or at least up the game of various occupational fields) in the world, I think that a tiny dent in

privileged wallets shouldn’t hurt too much. President Obama, thank you for allowing

those without privilege to be able to leave a powerful impact and to gain a proper

education. Thank you for realizing that there are more important things for our

government to fund than a war that we don’t need to fight. Thank you for spending

money on a progressive future for this country, and hopefully the world as well.

Education is very essential for a human being’s growth. Having and education allows us to be eligible for certain jobs, allows us to pass our knowledge on to others, and allows

us to become successful in life. But how can we grow if we’re forced to pay for school to get a higher education? We’re lucky that school is free up until the 12th grade because we get to learn the basic learning skills and information. But if we want our knowledge and skills to grow, we have to go to college. We have to pay for college. Many people don’t attend college because of the costs or they end up not attending the college that they wanted. Is this what people should be forced to do just because they can’t afford college? The price tag on education is hurting human beings’ chances at growth. We

can’t grow if unaffordable education is sprung on us. Human beings want to learn, but can’t get the education because it’s not free. Getting and education is a choice, not a

mandatory thing. I feel if people want to get an education, it should be free because

they’re challenging themselves. Free college is the key to growth and success. College that you have to pay for may only prevent this. Who doesn’t want a chance at success? I’m sure mostly everyone does. We deserve for college to be free.

When considering the amount of money that implementing Obama’s proposal would cost from the federal government, it initially looks like a self-inflicting debt on the country. In the long run, however, the ability of free college education would provide a boost for the economy. There are some negative aspects to having community college completely covered by the government. For example, a famous saying is: “Nothing comes free in life.” And this

saying often holds true, but now Obama is offering free education? Opportunities and chances not previously offered such as these can be taken granted for, and as a result in some cases students who don’t have to pay can drop out. This would cost the government, because for every student they send to college for free, they’re making them an investment. This potential problem could be remedied if Obama’s proposal had

some ground rules, one being that if a student dropped out (which there should be no reason for) that they would have to compensate the government. Another problem that some may add is that this applies to C+ students, average. Yet, over exceeding students who get accepted to Ivy Leagues and private liberal arts colleges can’t get half

their tuition paid. “It comes with the territory”. Of course you might have to pay to attend an Ivy, and you got into that Ivy because they wouldn’t accept average students. They’re popular name brand schools, so if you were to go there, in order to get financial aid you would probably have to enhance it more than it already is. A community college however, anyone can apply, if they have the funds to receive an average (in most cases) higher education. Though seen as a unequal distribution of resources by some, it instead fixes the gap in resources from previous limitations and enrollment requirements.

But let’s look at how this could benefit the economy. Higher level education is being

made available to all students, and therefore, the issue of not being able to afford

education would be irrelevant. People, who wouldn’t be eligible for jobs before because of the lack of a degree, are now. They can apply for a variety of jobs and based on their specialtyearn money to later consume. And we all know from the Gilded Age that employment means consumption, and consumption means booming the US economy.

As a result of Obama’s proposal, not only will people be able to consume and actually

buy the products being marketed, but resource wisethe gap between the rich and the poor will lessen. Resources previously limited due to the lack of funds and favor are now made available to the ordinary and less fortunate. This is the answer to fixing the gap that everyone complains about, providing free higher level education and letting previously unable students further their education.

Education before college has always been free and every child has been entitled to the

right to be educated until they finish high school. But many people aren’t fortunate

enough to have the means to pay for college. Many people who didn’t finish high school struggle to find jobs that require them to have at least a high school diploma or GED.

Not many people want a minimum wage job that isn’t satisfying, and to find a job that pays off in the long run, a college degree is necessary. In today’s competitive job market, many employers are looking for people who have at least a college degree to

even apply for a job. When people are so disadvantaged that they do not have the means to pay for post-secondary education, their chances at finding a job that will benefit diminishes. If community colleges are free students who are parents, or even struggle to pay their rent will have one less thing to worry about. Everyone is entitled to education till high school, everyone should have that same right for their college education. If job markets are becoming more and more competitive, and those people who can only afford to receive a high school education will most likely only have a quality of life that the people who didn’t receive a high school degree. I have been raised on the ideal that education is the most important thing I should focus on in my adolescence. Since my parents never attended college and my mother never finished high school, the importance of school has always been enforced. I was always encouraged to finish high school with a strong academic record so I could to attend college and get my degree, so then I could find a job that I love and is rewarding. Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to be successful and have a life that they actually enjoy. With the help of free community college, many people who have been previously unfortunate will now have that opportunity.

The United States of America is the greatest country in the world, a statement which is often believed by Americans. The reality of that assertion is that the U.S. desires to be a world power, but fails to do so. This idea emerged mostly from the U.S. being able to develop rapidly in the world. In economics the U.S. has tried to position itself with top world powers such as China; But succeeded in only creating an alliance. America has also prided itself based on its democracy and status as a developed nation that has

offered “freedom for all” since the dawn of time. While this is true, the U.S. still falls far

behind countries like Finland and South Korea in education. But is education something that the U.S. can afford to lack in? The answer is no. The U.S. can not consider itself a potential world power if the citizens do not have access to free education. the reason is the future of America rest in the hands of students. And since knowledge is power then America is actually weak being that it ranks seventeenth in the world among world powers. If America wishes to become a top world power then education is key. And the only way America is able to climb up the ranks is through making school easily accessible to all students who are the future of this “great” nation. The characteristics of a world power is a nation powerful enough to affect the entire world through its influence or actions. In terms of today, it is equivalent to a powerful country that dominates all other countries in economy, education, and social

environment. For example, China has a major influence on the economy, due to it being the largest trading company. If China were to stop producing clothing or any other vital necessities then frankly the world would be screwed. Mostly the U.S. that depends on

China as their top resource in trade, so if China were not that resource anymore that will leave the U.S. deserted. But how will the U.S. fill that void, surely not through the businesses and corporations. Because if the price of tuition continues to increase and the funding for financial aid decreases then there will be less students that will have the

knowledge to build a successful business. Well if that’s not reason enough, how about

the steady competition America faces to keep up with growing nations such as China. China not only has the largest population in the world, with seven billion persons, but also targets America as an obstacle to that top position as leading nation. China has already surpass the U.S. in education because while the U.S. is seventeenth China is number one. What the coincidence- or not-China’s college tuition rates are fairly low in comparison to America, as big as a thirty one thousand dollar difference on average.The correlation between economic success and test scores is astronomically high. Instead of cutting down prices and helping the lower class America results to increasing them while still hoping for a change. America has a desire to surpass China or any other country, but the strategy they are using doesn’t reflect that thirst. The easier education is able to be access the more people will take advantage of it which will eventually stimulate growth in the U.S., allowing it to become a more prosperous

nation. In order to be the best you have to learn from the best. And America is allowing

the short term revenue of tuition control the long term investment into America’s future.

Without a population of educated people the foundation of America is weak and not able to support itself. If America is weak it will depend on other nations like China to support it jeopardizing the future it aims to have. In order to be a world power, a nation has to be strong and equipped to support its people let alone the world.

At a young age I realized that in order to succeed in this world, one had to establish their own human capital in order to differentiate themselves in the workforce. We live in the age where the higher the degree, the more money you make. However, with rising costs it is becoming harder and harder to finance the costs of college, while still receiving a good enough degree to survive on. In my opinion, like primary and secondary education, post-secondary education should be offered for free. If free post secondary education was offered for free underprivileged, slightly privileged and privileged individuals would all benefit.

A month ago I went to a movie screening, at The Chicago Urban League’s Black History Month Film Festival, where we watched a film called “The Homestretch”. This film showed the world a perspective that I had never seen in a film before. The perspective was from that of homeless teens living in the city of Chicago. Teens who had no control over the current situation that they were forced to live in. The students struggled to keep their grades up, struggled getting to school on time, and they struggled with things that most people don’t have to worry about until their adult years, like where they will sleep

or what their next meal will come from. These students struggled throughout their life and many of them are still struggling to this day. One of the young men in the film knew what he needed to do in order to be successful. He knew that despite his situation, he needed to go to school and get an education in order to leave his mark in this world of work. The young man went through a GED program, and other networking programs to

help him learn what it’s like to be in the business world. However, none of those

programs put him in a place where he could be financially stable to the point where he would never have to worry about money problems. And none of the programs gave him the opportunity to receive a college degree. Those without a college degree earn significantly less than those with a college degrees. If he was offered an opportunity

where he could study for free, he would be able to differentiate himself in the workforce. Having a higher education, despite of the many circumstances that he has experienced throughout the course of his life, would provide him with an opportunity to create a brighter future, not only for himself, but for the generations of his family that follow him. Not all people are privileged to the point where they can pull money out of their pockets and just pay for college, pay for loans, pay for travel fees, pay for room and board, and pay for the many expenses that come along with embarking on the journey to college. In a city like Chicago, this could possibly be a solution to gun and gang violence. Individuals often turn to alternative activities in order to make money, however, if they could learn the things that they were interested in learning for free, not only would social issues like gun and gang violence have solutions, but we would live in a whole new world of possibility. Most middle class students can barely even afford to go to college. Recently, in my AP Microeconomics class, we studied data and watched informational videos about today’s economy and the distribution of income. In today’s society, the rich continue to get

richer, the poor continue to get poorer, and the middle class only earn a little bit more than the poor. The data used 100 people to represent the United States economy, the 40%-60% of the American population was middle class. Those middle class individuals earned less than sixty percent of what the top 10%, the richest people, made within a year. With the middle class making extremely less than the richest people, making slightly more than the poorest individuals, how will those people cover the costs of college? My mother and father have 4 children: myself, my four year old sister, my three and one year old brothers. I would consider us a middle class family. My parents, along with many other parents, will have to take on the responsibility of paying for multiple children to go to college. Regardless of scholarships and grants, costs of college are incredibly high. A free post-secondary educational opportunity would even help benefit

middle class families. Most middle class families can’t afford to whip out thirty to forty

thousand dollars a year to cover tuition costs. An opportunity to receive post-secondary education for free would be amazing, it would allow students to learn as much as they want to, while still setting themselves apart from other workers. Opening up a new world of possibility and opportunity for their future. Even students with relatively affluent families could benefit from an opportunity like this. Those students would be able to start a future for themselves, make a difference in their own lives and create their own success, without their parents or families being involved. Take Hailie Mathers for example, the daughter of rapper Eminem (also known as Marshall Mathers), who is currently a student at Michigan State University studying

engineering. As a student myself, I’m sure that she has set goals for herself to go as far

in her education as she can. And eventually she may come to the point where she

wants to be responsible and mature and no longer rely on her father’s money, if she already hasn’t. Students like Hailie Mathers would be able to create their own success

instead of relying on the success of their family, which is an amazing opportunity within itself. Free post-secondary education creates so many opportunities for individuals around the world, regardless of their economic situation. With rising costs, it seems as though no one can cover the costs of college, and even those who are wealthy realize how expensive those costs are. Education is priceless, and in order to successfully survive in

the world built on labor, one must differentiate themselves based on human capital, talent and many other factors, economically. However, I entreat you for a moment to stop thinking about things monetarily and economically. Offering free post-secondary education would not only give more students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and further their education, but it would also increase incentives for graduates to

gratuitously give back to their college. Many believe that colleges won’t receive funding due to the costs of colleges being eliminated, but the funding won’t cease. Students in

Chicago can enroll at any community or city college for free and take a dual enrollment class and can receive their associates degree, before graduating high school. I mention this to say that, students are already embarking on the journey of success. Why would one want to deny students the rights to further their education? The higher the

education, the more successful one becomes and the greater the incentives become to give back to communities, colleges or universities, and other factors that have influenced the lives of many. I staunchly believe that free post-secondary education will have egregious advantages.

In my opinion, I believe that everyone should try their best to further their education in order to be able to live the lifestyle that they dream of having in the near future. But the real question is should their be free college education. Yes and No. I said yes because

some students who would want to further their education and go to college don’t have

the funds to do so. So being the great student they are and having a 2.5 gpa or above 2 years of community college being free would be great for them! I also think that with that they would be able to get some type of scholarships for the university that they are

trying to go to in the future. So I think it should be free.

Danielle April 23, 2015 · 11:59 am I’m 15, I always wanted to go to college to be a vet. I don’t want to be a vet anymore,

but i still want to help animals. When I wanted to be a vet I knew that i would have to go

to college. College at this point doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. I’m from a middle

class family and we do not have the money to put me through college, even if I were to get a scholarship. Scholarships probably won’t come my way because I don’t have the best grade, I have never been a straight A student, but Ive always wanted to go to college. If this were to actually happen then I would have the chance to go to a college and better my life. To have a brighter future.

Some students want to go community collage before they actually go to a real collage so this would only help them even more this is only the tip of the ice berg. If more people go to collage this helps to get a degree and find more jobs. if people find more jobs, then those owners of a businesses would have to make more of whatever their buildings are and their business would flourish and eventually, hopefully lower our debt with china.

Only unless the student has a GPA higher than that of 3.0. That shows that he/she take their eduction serieously, and that the governemt will not be wasting money on students

that don’t care.

I do agree with President’s Obama proposal ONLY if this proposal includes stipulations such as:

  • 1. GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with a high GPA shows that they take their education

seriously and this in return would be a good investment of the government funds.

  • 2. If the student drops-out, they should reimburse the government for the funds invested

in them. Those funds could have been used for someone else that really wanted to study.

  • 3. Students must be enrolled in college immediately after their high school graduation

and be a full time college student. These are only some of many stipulations that should be taken into consideration.

Johnathan May 20, 2015 · 12:12 am The average college student is $30,000 in debt after they’re done with accomplishing

their degree. That number is astronomical and needs to change because in the end of it all, having a degree with that debt means nothing. Young adults that attend college put in long hours of studying, working long days and nights and for them to have to pay a

huge debt after everything they have done is unfair. I believe college tuition; housing and books should be free. With all of those essentials being free, I believe students

would gain their degree at a quicker pace because they would not have to worry about paying fees or having to rely on their parents on paying it for them. I personally have a lot of intelligent, bright minded friends, but the reason being why most of them are working or attending a small community college is because of the expensive costs of bigger colleges. If tuition, housing, and books were free, I think we would get a higher number of educated young adults graduating from bigger colleges. Transportation

shouldn’t be a hassle either, considering there are various ways we can get to school at

an inexpensive rate (bus trolley, your car). Education should be priceless because there is no limit when it comes gaining knowledge.

My tuition is free because of my father’s service to our country. Therefore, I am entitled to the bog waiver. My only expenses are books and transportation so there is not much to complain about for what I pay for because it’s easily affordable. College should be affordable; therefore I shouldn’t have to pay any taxes. Though, since it isn’t, I would

understand why they would make me pay a little extra on taxes and that is to help out the higher educated young adults with education that are in debt. Taxpayers shouldn’t fully pay the student’s debt but we should all meet half way. Meaning, we should make

their debts manageable after the student is finished with getting their degree. Taxpayers might not like it but it would sure make my fellow colleagues lives a lot easier. The cost for college increases every year. Since 2007 the cost of college has increased an incredible 25%. Colleges make millions, maybe billions. Yet, they still have students

pay unmanageable fees. If college were free, or at least affordable, students would take

full advantage of it. With an education you can accouter any job you desire. It’s a shame

students have to pay so much to get a chance at success. Humans want to learn and succeed and that shouldn’t cost them a dime. Is education really worth all that money in end of it? Although, with an education the job opprotunites widen. In 2013 5% of college

students with a degree were umemployed. In today’s world, 50% of young adults with a

college degree are satisfied with their job. Most students that have to pay for their education have a part time job and they have to concentrate on their job just as much as getting their schoolwork done. With free education students would concentrate more on their schooling and not have to worry about working at a part time job trying to raise money for their education. These part time jobs these college students have, take away study time.

If college tuition ever becomes free the government could invest their money in more important causes. The government would no longer be wasting their money but investing it. More people will be getting their education. Therefore, our country will have

more lawyers, doctors, and many other perks that we lack today. The United States would be a better place to live in because we wouldn’t lack workers in different departments. Free college would be perfect if we didn’t have individuals going bankrupt.

People will have more of a positive future after they are finished getting their education. If free college ever does happen, the opportunity in this country will grow massively. Students will strive in education and their future careers.

As we go into the future, many more jobs are going to be created that involve technology advancements. We are going to need to be educated on how to use that. We are going to be the future of the economy, and the government.

I need help. I read somewhere that the government spends more money subsidizing public colleges than students actually pay for tuition. The example they gave was that in 2012, the government spent 77 billion dollars on educational aid while students spent 62 billion dollars on tuition.

If this is true, and the government is spending more money subsidizing costs for higher

education then students are spending on tuition, then why can’t the government just

make public university free for everyone? Am I missing something here? Seriously, someone please tell me if this is right.

YES. just YES. Please for the love of God make community college free! Why is it that our government funds elementary and secondary education, but not college? I mean, I get it if the college is big like Harvard, Yale, or Stanford, but community college is something that we all need. It would open a new window of opportunities across America! As a Senior to graduate in 2016, I can openly say, PLEASE MAKE

COMMUNITY COLLEGE FREE!!! I can’t afford college, a car, and car insurance at the

same time! Nor do I want to be up to my nose in debt! Why the heck are those stupid

republican bastards that we call “congress” against something that would benefit the

lives of all students?

States offer children a free public school education until they complete 12th grade. After that, they have to pay tuition. President Obama recently announced his proposal to make community college free for many students. Is he onto something? Should students be able to get a free education after high school?

In Obama Plan Would Help Many Go to Community College Free,Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Tamar Lewin write:

President Obama said Thursday that he would propose a government program to make community college tuition-free for millions of students, an ambitious plan that would expand educational opportunities across the United States.

The initiative, which the president plans to officially announce Friday at a Tennessee community college, aims to transform publicly financed higher education in an effort to address growing income inequality.

The plan would be funded by the federal government and participating states, but White House officials declined to discuss how much it would cost or how it would be financed. It is bound to be expensive and likely a tough sell to a Republican Congress not eager to spend money, especially on a proposal from the White House.

“With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of


Mr. Obama’s advisers acknowledged Thursday that the program’s goals would not be achieved quickly. The president, however, was more upbeat. “It’s something that we can

accomplish, and it’s something that will train our work force so that we can compete with anybody in the world,” Mr. Obama said in a video posted Thursday night by the

White House.

The proposal would cover half-time and full-time students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average about a C-plus — and who “make steady progress toward completing a program,” White House officials said. It would apply to colleges that offered credit

toward a four-year degree or occupational-training programs that award degrees in high-demand fields. The federal government would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college for those students, and states that choose to participate would cover the remainder. If all states participate, the administration estimates, the program

could cover as many as nine million students, saving them each an average of $3,800 a year.

Students: Read the entire article, then tell us …

Should a college education be free? Why?

Should students have a right to higher education, the way they now have a right to elementary and secondary education?

Would the availability of a free college education provide a boost for the economy? Would it help erase social inequality?

Would such a proposal be too expensive for the government to maintain? Is it unrealistic?

— Do you support President Obama’s proposal? Do you think it might ever happen?

esident Barack Obama announced his free community college plan to the nation last week, and the first wave of critics and advocates have had their say.

Formally called America’s College Promise,the plan is modeled after the Tennessee Promiseand offers free tuition for two years at community college to students who keep up a grade-point average of 2.5 or better, and who graduate within three years.

Here's a rundown of five pros and cons being debated about the plan so far:

Con: Partisan opposition

The plan may be dead in the water already, considering that it requires Congress to approve spending for the idea and the Republican majority is unlikely to support it. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s

education committee, has stated he opposes the plan and that it should be up to individual states to provide a free community college option, similar to

Tennessee’s program.

Pro: It could still be accepted below the federal level

Despite the stated opposition of Republicans in Congress, the idea has garnered bipartisan support below the federal level: In a state, with Tennessee’s GOP leadership, for example. And with Chicago, which is led by Democrats. Presenting the free community college plan puts the idea in the

national conversation, even if it ultimately doesn’t come to fruition. In

pointing out problems with the plan, critics may be forced to present better

alternatives, and workable solutions can emerge.

Con: Existing programs cover poorest students

Free tuition for community college is already available for the poorest students through federal Pell Grants. More than 7 out of 10 students pay less than $1,000 per year for community college tuition, including nearly 2 out of 5 students who have grants that pay their entire tuition bill.

Pro: Free community college-level ed may be inevitable

Making two years of community college free would help close the gap between the haves and have nots in the U.S., especially at a time when many believethat universal education to the community college level is inevitable. By raising the bar and building off more two-year degrees, more

people would be encouraged to seek a bachelor’s degree.

Con: The cost

If students receive free community college schooling without regard for their income levels, America’s College Promise could become a costly middle-class

entitlement program. The estimated cost of the program, over 10 years, is $60 billion.

Pro: Plenty of students likely to benefit

Judging from the results of the free community college program in Tennessee so far, enrollment would surge when high school students learned that their own community college would be free. An estimated 9 million students would benefit.

Con: Increased competition could hurt four-year schools

The program could encourage students to go to community college instead of four-year schools, which could force some four-year schools to close. Allocating the estimated $60 billion in federal spending required for the program over 10 years could mean that less funding will be available for higher education initiatives and financial aid at four-year colleges and universities. The plan calls for states to pick up the tab for 25% of the bill, and state spending on higher education has been trending down.

Pro: States may be encouraged to spend more on higher ed

Obama’s free community college program could help kickstart increased commitment by states to spend on higher education. From 2008 to 2012, state funding for higher education dropped to 22.3% of total revenues from 29.1%, which has led to tuition increases.

Con: Community college has high dropout rates

The plan doesn’t address what some commentators see as a bigger problem:

High dropout rates in community college of between 66% and 80%.

Pro: Progress and outcomes would be measured

The proposal would address educational quality by requiring community colleges to adopt evidence-based reforms to improve student outcomes. Whether or how this would be tied into the Obama college ratings proposal is unknown.

College and university education has become very important in today's life. Wherever you see an advertisement for job, there is some certain criteria for certain posts. For example for marketing executive employers prefer MBA Marketing person, for eye surgeons hospitals prefer oculist. Without a college degree a person is unqualified for such posts. Some people believe that university graduates should pay the full cost of their education. Others say that university

education should be free. Let’s consider advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, higher education leads to a more educated and productive workforce and it does offer some external benefits to society Also, everybody will get an equal chance to pursue higher studies, independent of their economic background and enabling merit to become the sole criteria. If the education is given free to all then admission will be given wholly on merit basis. This will result in increase in level of competition. It will be certainly beneficial to everybody those who could get admissions. Brilliant students will build a strong nation.

On the other hand, if people have to pay to go to university, they would value the education more. In this situation, students motivation for achieving good performance is expected to be high. Then, if the government of a country takes policy to fully finance the college education, the government has to limit the number of colleges and universities since their budget is not limitless and it will produce many problems. And Top up fees enable more investment in universities. It will also help attract and keep the best teachers and researchers.

This issue has both positive and negative sides as we saw above. The best thing will be to make the education free for those who are economically backward, are really incapable of paying fees for education but they have caliber. But education should not be made free to people who ...