Governments should offer a free university education to any student who has been admitted to a university but who cannot afford the tuition.
Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
College tuition in many countries poses a significant challenge and burden to those families who are struggling financially. As a consequence, people with strong liberal leaning have long advocated free tuition for those who cannot afford university education. Quite appealing and sympathetic though it may seem in theory, this policy has to face some severe practical challenges. In my opinion, due to the existence of such practicalities, I cannot fully agree with this policy proposal.
To begin with, it is undeniably true that such a policy would, in an ideal world, be very beneficial not only to those who are poor but also to the society as a whole. The reason is that once the financial burden is relieved from students who qualify for college education, their future career prospect will be very much improved: studies have long demonstrated an overall positive correlation with the level of education and life-time income. To put it another way, education is perhaps the single best investment an individual could make. Hence from a personal point of view, if a financially challenged student can receive free college education, his future would certainly be brighter. Furthermore, his personal gain actually brings about societal benefits as well because now the society has more qualified workers. We could imagine the opposite: if a talented individual cannot receive proper education due to his financial hardship, it is actually a waste of human resources on the societal level. As a result, I agree with the theoretical consideration of the aforementioned policy.
Yet, despite the ideological appeal of this policy, we are unfortunately not living in an ideal world, where one should be able to easily identify who cannot afford tuition. Some may argue that one could look at the family income of a student and provide free education to certain individuals. Yet, in reality this approach has several limits. For one, our ability to determine the income of a family, which is usually considered private and previledged information, is not as strong as one thinks. In the United States, one’s tax return forms may be a viable indicator, but not all countries have such a system. To further complicate this issue, even in the States there are tax loopholes that people can make to legally under- report their income. Hence, the practical aspect of this policy deems to be dire.
To wrap up, I have no question about the motivation and the theoretical benefits of this policy with regard to waiving tuition for those unable to afford it. That being said, given the serious challenges in the real-world implementation of such policies, I have to object it.