The Pros and Cons of Free University Education

The merits of free university education have been widely discussed of late.  Closer analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of implementing free, or low-cost higher education, a model that has been adopted in several developed nations including Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland and France, reveal it to be a complicated and ultimately unclear issue.

We at Unemployed Professors want students to be empowered on this debate, and have broken down the positives and negatives of the free-tuition model.

The positives of such a system are compelling.  The first is the fact that students at the bottom end of the socioeconomic spectrum will have greater chance of accessing and graduating from institutions of higher education.  Many students of limited means fail to graduate because they simply cannot sustain the costs of education year-by-year.  This would also have the associated benefit of enhancing graduation rates.

The second plus of adopting a no-cost system will be the disappearance of the phenomenon of student debts so high they can seriously limit the future prospects of graduates.  Without such financial encumbrance, these graduates would have far more capital to invest in purchases, seriously enhancing their own lives as well as community prosperity.

A final advantage of free university education is intellectual liberation.  As most are aware, universities are fast becoming glorified vocational institutes.  Instead of pursuing subjects they seriously enjoy, students opt for majors that will get them a job.  This vocational model also involves the transition of students into clients.  Degrees have been commodities: having paid for their education, students feel entitled to their degrees, regardless of performance.  Thus ensues the dumbing-down of universities and students.

The negatives of free university education are also worth considering.  The first and most-often cited is the fact the financial burden will be shifted from those actually attending university to society-at-large.  While it is likely that middle class and wealthy Americans will shoulder this load, it is ultimately unclear who will finance education.  The ensuing uncertainty generates worry which, in turn, has fueled resistance – especially from those of greater means.

The second is the financial education that accompanies higher learning.  With everything paid for, students will not learn the important life skill of budgeting that is so critical to surviving your degree without being crushed in debt.

The third is also one of the virtues:  though more people will ultimately be empowered to achieve a university degree, this will mean a greater cost will be incurred to taxpayers.  Additionally, given the vocational focus of university education, a higher number of graduates will be vying for the same number of job openings, leading to workforce oversaturation.

Last, private institutions will have to face the reality of closure.  Students will naturally gravitate to free public education, leaving private schools reliant on much lower revenues.  Inevitable closure of these universities will leave scores of professors and other staff out of jobs, taking a wealth of revenue out of the general economy.

With that in mind, ask the team of academic professionals at any questions you may have regarding their college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!