College Education: A National Debate on Cost and Success - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1790 Words
Date:  2023-03-14


The cost of a college education is high in the United States that it has become a national debate. Data shows that the gross national student debt stands at a figure of close to $1 trillion (Novak 1). It goes to show that college education leaves many of the graduates in a bad financial situation that cripples their progress. A college education is seen as a gateway to the success of not only the individuals but also the success of a country itself. Individuals can get high paying jobs and increase competitiveness in the various workplaces. However, the high college tuition is an impediment to such progress. While college tuition helps fund education programs and increase the value of education, lowering college fees will result in more educated citizens and give the citizens more financial freedom after graduation. College tuition should be lowered to increase graduation rates, reduce student debt, give freedom to choose a major, and increase college attendance.

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College tuition is high, and there are many dropouts affecting graduation rates. Some of the college students drop out after a year in college because they can no longer afford the costs. They typically defer their studies, but most of them end up not resuming college. Students who cannot afford college would take minimum wage jobs to help fund their education, but end up only using the jobs to sustain themselves (Karay and Jan 6). In the end, there are more people who drop out than those who graduate after college enrollment. There are many people's dreams that are crushed and hence forced to live with stress in their predicament. If at all colleges are supposed to produce the future generation of workers, it surely is destroying a significant number of futures with the low graduation rates. The most affected are people from low income generating families who drop out of college and become more burden to themselves, their family, and the economy (Keane 294). A college degree helps people from low-income families secure jobs that can help their financial situation. When they fail to graduate as a consequence of the high tuition fees, they are likely to stay at home where they would be a burden to their families. The work they would get would not be of their choice, and the stress levels coupled with low income would guide individuals to a criminal life (Heller 84). Therefore, lowering college tuition fees would increase graduation rates for better employment opportunities.

Colleges should lower tuition fees to reduce student debt giving the students more financial freedom. Lowered tuition fees will enable graduates to be able to plan for a future without the strain to repay the high college loans (Shin and Sande 214). The high tuition fees levied by colleges force many people to rely on student loans to cater to their education and related expenses. Lowering the tuition fees enables the students to cope well at school and then graduate with a positive attitude, and not with the financial burden that they find themselves. Students currently study with the knowledge that they will be in heavy debt afterward similar to other graduates. Most of the students who are lucky enough to get financial aid in their studies graduate with student loans of over $37,000 (Lapovski 1). Of course, there are those with more debt that they will have to pay after securing employment. The weight of college debt prevents individuals from securing other loans for housing or business. Most people who graduate rent apartments instead of buying houses. The debt also prevents people from spending on healthy food or generally making good health choices. The college debts reduce one's spending power and given the high tuition fees, graduates pay the debts for an extended period crippling their progress (Keane 296). College tuition should be lowered to reduce the college debt that hinders future investments and financial freedom.

College tuition fees should be lowered to allow for the freedom to choose preferred majors. The high tuition fees make it difficult for one to choose a course that he or she prefers because of the costs (Heller 69). Individuals can be interested in pursuing a particular course, but the tuition fees for a particular major becomes an impediment. As a result, people are forced to take up majors based on their financial capacity. There will be multiple people in colleges pursuing a degree that they are uninterested in which will lead to less job satisfaction. High college tuition fees thus make people choose majors based on affordability and not student capability or passion. Students then take up courses that they have little interest in, and they either end up underperforming in class or becoming poor at their job (Karay and Jan 7). Lowering college fees will allow students to pursue careers they are actually good in and perform when employed.

The other reason to lower college tuition fees in relation to choosing a major is that students will take majors that are known to have lucrative incomes after graduation. Students will thus be guided towards the practical courses that will enable them to secure employment quickly and pay off the student loans (Shin and Sande 225). The choice of study is now fully dependent on the cost which would see many courses abandoned in favor of others. The imbalance will be problematic for both the schools and the jobs market that will have problems teaching and problems hiring. Students have been known to drop out of college because the course does not satisfy their interests (Novak 1). They would not concentrate or understand the related concepts causing them to feel frustrated and then drop out. Lowering college tuition fees will provide diversity in career choices and benefit both the schools and the workplace.

More people than before will go to college if the college tuition fees are lowered. College is seen as an investment where one pays money to go study and comes out able to secure employment that can help him or her sustain him or herself. However, that is not currently the case as many people view a college education as a poor investment that leaves one in serious debt (Novak 1). For this reason, many people opt not to go to college as the money could best be invested elsewhere. One would prefer to start a business or to use the money for sustenance rather than waste it on the high college costs. Therefore, college tuition fees are so high that it discourages people from going to college. There are many people who have graduated and secured a job but still suffer from the debts they incurred for extended periods (Lapovski 1). The data is known, and looking at it, it makes little sense to put oneself through the strenuous college education. Lowering college tuition fees will see an increase in the number of college admissions and college graduates. The increase in admissions should be able to cover the losses colleges would incur when they lower costs. Many people joining college would pay relatively the same amount as the few people currently in college. The economy would also benefit from a high number of graduates who have innovation and critical thinking skills (Shin and Sande 234). There are many more benefits of an educated workforce such that lowering college tuition fees should be a priority. Therefore, college tuition fees should be lowered to increase the number of college graduates who will benefit the progress of the country.

There are some negative consequences of lowering college education costs that have been used to justify the high tuition fees. The costs are not there to discourage college attendance but to actually pay expenses that the colleges incur in the education process. Lowering the costs would mean that the institutions will lack proper funding for their operations (Karay and Jan 6). That would end up cutting down some programs or even having substandard teaching due to the overall lack of resources. The money to fund colleges would also have to come from somewhere, and the most likely avenue is taxes. The government will have to increase taxes to provide to colleges so that they can operate effectively (Novak 1). Lowering tuition fees would thus make life uncomfortable due to the rise in taxes. In addition, lowered tuition fees would devalue a college degree because everyone will be able to access a degree. There will be many college graduates as a result who will flood the job market lowering the value of the relevant degrees (Karay and Jan 7). High costs thus allow on the few that graduate holds a greater value as opposed to if they were many. Lowering college tuition fees will strain college resources and devalue the degrees offered.

The colleges can find alternative sources to fund their various programs instead of fully depending on the high costs they impose. Alumni support, donations, and endowments are common sources of funds for many colleges (Keane 289-290). Lowering college fees and increasing enrollment will have a counter effect that would not affect college funding. On the other hand, the concerns of reducing the value of college education should not be a concern given the benefits of an educated nation. Apart from increasing competitiveness, many graduates in the job market can improve the economy to transcend the current working environment.

It has been a national debate that is even used in many political campaigns, the cost of college tuition fees. Therefore, it is no secret that the costs are high and in need of attention. Many graduates have come out to express their financial burdens as a result of college education raising the question of whether it is a good investment to go to college. College tuition should be lowered to increase graduation rates, reduce student debt, give freedom to choose a major, and increase college attendance. Despite the challenges of lowering costs, the benefits outweigh them that can bring the desired outcomes to all the stakeholders.

Work Cited

Heller, Donald E. "The Effects of Tuition and State Financial Aid on Public College Enrollment." The Review of Higher Education, vol. 23, 1, 1999, p. 65-89.

Karay, Yassin, and Jan Matthes. "A study on effects of and stance over tuition fees." GMS journal for medical education, vol. 33,1 6. 15 Feb. 2016.

Keane, Michael, P. 2002. "Financial Aid, Borrowing Constraints, and College Attendance: Evidence from Structural Estimates." American Economic Review, vol. 92, 2, 2002, p. 293-297.

Lapovski, Lucie. "Why Colleges Continue to Increase Tuition When Many Should Lower It." Forbes. (29 December 2016). Accessed from

Novak, Jake. "Instead of free tuition, Democrats should ask colleges to lower their prices." CNBC News. Accessed from

Shin, Jung-cheol and Sande Milton. "Rethinking Tuition Effects on Enrollment in Public Four-year Colleges and Universities." The Review of Higher Education, vol. 29 no. 2, 2006, p. 213-237.

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