By Alejandro Cardenas |Staff Writer|
It may be a shock to U.S. students, but there are numerous European countries, including Germany, Norway, and Finland that offer free tuition to their students for their college education.
U.S. students who want to pursue a college education should be able to do so, regardless of economic status; U.S. schools can make this happen by following in their footsteps and help their students pay for college.
“Tuition fees are unjust,” said German senator of science Dorothee Stapelfeldt.
“They discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study,” added Stapelfeldt.
James Bartle, an English student and U.K. Youth Parliament representative for Newcastle, argued in the U.K. House of Commons in 2010 that college tuition is necessary because it is an investment for our future, according to The Guardian.
I believe that college is an investment in our future, but it should be an investment of our time and effort, rather than a monetary one.
In the U.S., tuition fees have been increasing and financial aid has been decreasing for numerous years, with no signs of change in the near future.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Between 1987 and 2012, in real dollars, government support has declined from $8,497 to $5,906 per student.”
College has become a market commodity because of the high demand for a college education, but tuition fees may deter many students from continuing college.
Everest and WyoTech colleges are good examples of how tuition fees can be exploited; the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau announced on Sept. 26, 2014 that it would be suing these schools for “illegal predatory lending,” according to CNN.
Predatory lending is defined as unfair and deceptive practices during the loan process; and it isn’t only limited to for-profit schools. This is shown by the $1.2 trillion American student debt.
“I owe about $10,000 in student loans,” said CSUSB graduate Jorge Pulido, “I still don’t know how I’m going to pay it all back.”
As many students are looking for a typical “college experience,” schools have spent millions in extra amenities such as fancy student unions, sports stadiums and state-of-the-art gymnasiums to encourage students to apply.
The downside of non-academic spending is that the students will be charged through fees. If students were to look at their tuition statement. They might be surprised to see what they are paying for.
“I’ve actually never been in the school’s gym,” said transfer student Glenda Dos Santos, “I didn’t know that we already paid for it.”
Looking at MyCoyote, I realized that I pay around $350 every quarter for extraneous amenities such as sports fees and a $120 student union fee.
I believe that without tuition, competition among colleges would be simply for educational value rather than entertainment value.
Germany is able to offer free tuition because their education system works differently than the American system.
German educational institutions consist almost entirely of classroom buildings and libraries, according to slate.com.
Gyms with rock walls and flat-screen televisions in million-dollar student unions seem like unnecessary expenditures to me.
Some would argue that these are provided in order to offer a platform for socialization.
I disagree with this, because I believe the classroom already provides an initial platform for students to socialize, and if they wish to continue socializing, it can be done outside of school.
Students should realize that all we really need is a good source of information and a desire to learn, and everything else is unnecessary.
By providing free tuition for American students, we could allow all those who were not eligible due to financial circumstances attend college worry free.
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