Should College Education be Free for Everyone?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Peregrin5, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Just as the question above asks. Do you think college/trade school education should be free for everyone?

    What problems could ensue? What benefits would it have?
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    More and more, getting a job beyond McDonald's cashier requires, if not a degree, at least some type of post-secondary education.

    It would be to society's overall benefit if the realistic possibility to a job better than working for McDonald's existed for all people. So...
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    No. It is unaffordable to provide EVERYONE free postsecondary education.

    Even countries who provide free post secondary education have requirements that students must meet to obtain admission to the programs they are interested in.

    Seems like we should improve the K-12 education system if everyone needs to be more capable to do a job that is harder than pushing pictures on a screen as a McDonald's cashier.

    The reason many businesses are requiring post secondary education is that there is a glut of people with college degrees needing jobs. If the glut wasn't there and admission to college and/or university was more difficult, people could get jobs out of high school and have on-the-job training like they did in the past.
     
  5. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I agree. I think that whether post-secondary education is free or not, admissions standards need to be raised. It's not a matter of *whether* you can get in anymore. Anyone with a high school education can find a university willing to take their money. It's a matter of whether you *want* to go and whether you can pay to go.

    I think that upping admissions requirements to universities would also push more people into skilled trades - an area that is crying for people right now. And, people could make significantly more money there.
     
  6. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    No.

    We need to solve poverty. Poverty limits access to college not necessarily because of money, but because of not knowing how to navigate the system....not having access to the best resources in school....not running in the right "circles."

    I don't even believe all kids need to go to college. But I think there is a mentality out there right now that college is the ONLY way to be successful. Trades need to be respected. Vocational training needs to be respected. Those need to be seen as valid and advertised options.

    My kids have no clue about any system, college, trade, or otherwise. And it's because they go to an overcrowded and under-resourced school system in a large city. Reality is, your future begins with what happens to you in K-3, and my parents don't understand how the system works. We need heavy student and family guidance.
     
  7. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    :yeahthat:
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Yes, or at least much, much more affordable.

    I also think college should be harder to get into.

    Make community college open to all or most, then make 4 year college truly something that you have to work at. 2 years of post-secondary education should be enough for what many people with a 4 year degree are doing right now. Many of the people that I graduated university with are working in retail or bartending.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    No.

    We need to reexamine our stance on vocational training and look at how we prepare students before college, which would make the question moot.
     
  10. Sugar

    Sugar Rookie

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    No, but I do think it's too expensive.

    I agree that admissions standards must be raised. My teacher program only required a 2.5 GPA which is sad. I also think other factors need to come into play. Someone may look good on paper but, in our profession for example, has no business whatsoever in a classroom. There are members on this board who qualify as such. In my experience, colleges take the money, provide some coursework, and issue a diploma. I have no idea how this would work, but if colleges (or at least their reputation) were somehow responsible for the employees they produced then I believe admissions standards would in fact be adjusted.
     
  11. kcjo13

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    Sugar-I basically agree with what you are saying.

    I think that all institutions (K-12 and higher ed, as well as business and industry and families) need to be realistic in what goals are established for students. Not everyone is cut out for a 4 year degree. Some May function perfectly well with a diploma or certificate, rather than a degree.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    In Hungary college is free. That means most people will never be able to attend. You can have a 4.0 GPA, everything top notch, but because there are 4-5 students fighting for a seat every year, you might have to wait years and never get in.
    One of my classmates, who was extremely talented, wanted to get in some kind of art college. She waited 4 years, because even though she was talented, there were more. I think she gave up, not sure.

    I would have never gotten in college with my high school grades there. Here, yes, I paid for it, and I'm in debt, but guess what? I got a Masters degree, I'm a teacher, I'm making good money, and not working retail or other jobs that only require a high school diploma.
     
  13. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    There is no free lunch. Someone pays for it with money, time, other requirements.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Let's define college to include trade schools. I'll edit that in my posts.

    I feel that poverty is a cycle that is exacerbated because of a lack of education (whether formal or trade). I agree though, that the K-12 foundation needs to be strengthened first.
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    There are plenty of kids getting an education, they just don't know what to do with it. It's not as simple as saying "Moreso, K-12 needs to do better." This runs the risk of crossing into teacher blame territory, and I refuse to paint broadly with that brush.

    My colleagues and I are working hard to teach. We are educating children not prepared for school. The little ones lack foundational social and academic skills. I'm not just talking a-b-c, 1-2-3....I'm talking delayed gratification, raising your hand, walking in a line, working in a group, etc. Every year it is playing catch up and they fall further behind. Having been a teacher from PreK to 7th grade, I find the challenges even more horrifying as they get older.

    No doubt we can improve things at the school level...but that is not the ONLY solution. We have to look at the bigger picture to improve educational outcomes. We have to consider the human condition and how valuable we find other people. When people start giving a crap about poverty, education will fall in line with everything else.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Our public school system used to include "trade schools" or vocational education in high school. Students then became apprentices under the direction of skilled tradesmen. So, it is still possible to have the public education system produce skilled people who can come up to speed quickly without having to give money to an expensive "trade school". Trade schools have their place for people who did not have vocational education or are career changers, but it doesn't have to be free when we already had a free system in place (and some places still do).
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'd like to hear your ideas that would work in the confines of the law and the rights of citizens.

    I think most people "give a crap" about poverty. Most also know you can't buy your way out of poverty.

    I would like to also hear your ideas about how to get others to consider the human condition and how valuable we find other people. I'm not saying you are wrong, but where do you see this change happening.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Yeah, but that doesn't satisfy the testing fetish in place.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I agree with the idea of supporting trade school. If students could use their final year or two of high school to learn how to be a medical assistant, secretary, or auto mechanic, I think that would be a much better use of taxpayer dollars than requiring those same students to take a fourth year of English or high-level mathematics when what they know is already sufficient for the careers they are interested in.
     
  20. readingrules12

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    Maybe free is a bit of a reach right now, but I wish we would at least move in that direction. I would say affordable would be a good goal by possibly making college tuition about 1/2 what it is today.

    It is so sad to see many of my students who have had so many teachers work hard so they so they can get into college, but then can't afford to attend. Why do we spend over $10,000/year for 13 years (K-12) to educate children to attend college, and then make it not affordable?

    I know the solution isn't an easy one, but I think it would be best for our country to invest more in making higher education more affordable.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    How is it that vocational programs are thriving in some districts? Seems it isn't an issue with the "evil" standardized testing but the district's choices. That seems to be the problem with many issues.
     
  22. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    No. Colleges and trade schools are businesses first and foremost. I do not see this changing.

    Also, IA that admissions standards need to be raised at certain schools. Likewise, I do think there needs to be two-year CC/ju-cos and trade schools for those who are not college material. We should not make it any easier to get into college.
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Would you agree that both public universities and public high schools are businesses? If not, I am confused how one might be a business and not the other?
     
  24. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    By making college more affordable more students could go to college. This would make it harder to get into college not less difficult.
     
  25. Go Blue!

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    Public unis, yes, because they are blatantly for-profit. Based on the district where I teach, where our annual budget runs in the Red every year and thus, we are not making any "profit"; I would say no.

    I often argue that if my district were an actual business, we would all be unemployed and the district would be shut down due to lack of "production" or output. Someone once countered that I am mistaken about our real job/responsibility - which is to provide a free and safe environment for students during the day so that their parents can work. I guess, in that case, we are a success.:cool:
     
  26. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I don't think so. I think colleges would just let in more people because they want to make more money; I don't believe they would become more selective. JMHO.
     
  27. gr3teacher

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    Considering the drastic drop in the number of students enrolled in CTE programs during the NCLB years, my point still stands.
     
  28. Peregrin5

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    I was going to say that the original post just mentioned making college free for everyone. Not making the academic standards less for anyone, because that seems to be where the conversation is heading. But I think it's being addressed now.

    As to colleges being businesses, that is the case in the US. That is not the case in all countries.
     
  29. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Public Universities are defined as non-profit in the United States. If your point is that they generally act like a for profit group, I can understand your opinion. Some may say share that opinion about some well to do public high schools.
     
  30. a2z

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    Correlation does not equal causation. Show me proof that it was NCLB that required districts drop their vocational education programs because it didn't happen in my school district. Our vocational programs actually grew throughout the NCLB timeframe.
     
  31. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nothing is free. I do think it would be beneficial to the entire population if we paid more taxes to help lower the costs of higher level education. It is too **** expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
  32. bora

    bora Rookie

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    In my country is the opposite. Students who can't get into public universities ( they have to pass the exam, and only a nr of students can be accepted; the first 50 or 100 students with the highest score) go to private ones. Private schools do not have a good reputation there. They usually gather sudents with very low GPA or students who find it easier to "pay" than learn. Many college professors ( public/private) are corrupted.
    I didn't pay a dime for my college in my country. Thank God it was free, because my family couldn't afford to pay for me and my twin sister's education and the state doesn't offer financial help. The only help you get is like $100 per month offered to students with low-income who lived in a dorm.
     
  33. FourSquare

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    There are other places that consider the needs of groups beyond the needs of individuals. I think there is something uniquely American about that. Our "Every man for himself" and "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" way of thinking. For example, Finland gives every new mother a baby box (regardless of class) equipped with basic parenting necessities. I think this speaks to their value of children/human life. (I know people are sick of hearing about Finland...I'm sure there's a similar example in another country.)

    I would like everyone to have easier access to quality education....but also housing, health care, transportation, and the like. They all go together to impact quality of life. If a child does not have all of these things, it doesn't matter how great his school is or whether or not college is free when he graduates high school. He will statistically be ill-prepared for any academic context.
     
  34. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm sorry. This is still too general for me to understand how you think this can all happen. Many of the kids in poverty that we talk about already have families that receive free housing, food stamps, welfare, free breakfast and lunch at school, etc. They still are ill prepared for school.

    How do you expect to change our country to have an attitude like Finland? I was hoping you would share ideas about how to get our society to change.
     
  35. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Nope

    No, no, no! For one thing, SOMEbody is paying for it! Our government is out of control with spending as it is, and as many of us know, most places do not have sufficient funds to provide the best course for K-12 education (30+ students per class, low salaries, etc). There are quite a lot of options out there for people who need financial assistance and are willing to work hard. I understand that there probably still are people who deserve to go to college who just can't, but I don't think making it free is the solution.
     
  36. otterpop

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    I think another big part of the problem is that the schools are spending the money they do have in all the wrong places.

    I went to a small state university starting in 2006. The buildings were older, most built in the 50's or before, but had received enough updates that they were structurally sound.

    Since then, many of those buildings have had complete remodels. There is a new, very modern fitness center, a new student center, a few highly upgraded residence halls... and college keeps getting more and more expensive. Notice that none of those updates directly impacted the quality of education for students. They're all extras.

    If you go to college campuses these days, many of the buildings are brand new and with innovative, modern architecture. Now, I don't have a problem with any of these things - the buildings are beautiful! - but I do have a problem with leaders making these updates and then raising tuition, making college less affordable for students.

    An inside source tells me my particular university is near bankruptcy. Hmm, I wonder why!
     
  37. bora

    bora Rookie

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    :agreed:
     
  38. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No
     
  39. GTB4GT

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    No.
     
  40. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's because GoBlue is right. Colleges right now are a business and not educational facilities. They're in the business of attracting more students to use their dorms and gym facilities, and then hiking up tuition.
     
  41. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    We made it free for all the soldiers after WW2 and that worked out well. I say we make it free for all of those that have good grades and maintain them.
     
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