College in many countries is affordable or even free and this provides society with a great amount of benefit.
Education for all
Education should not only be available for the rich or ell off. There are bright minds among children of lower income families too and without a free or affordable education system that allows absolutely everyone to study to a higher level these people might never be discovered.
It’s one thing to have to work to put yourself through college, but it’s another thing entirely to be saddled with a huge debt as a result of doing so.
How it could be paid for
As population size increases so does the amount education costs a government. In theory a larger population leads to more people paying tax which can then be used to fund education. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work that way. Tax from individuals might not always be at a level where this can be sustained and then there are corporations and businesses which make it difficult too. Many big businesses have set up completely legal means of tax avoidance – it’s important to remember tax avoidance is legal, but tax evasion is not – whereby they move their headquarters out of a country and create a chain of subsidiaries leading to their main business in order to minimise the tax they must pay. If governments were to tighten these loopholes they would earn more in tax revenue from businesses.
Education is a right
America’s founding fathers believed that education for all was a right and a building block for future generations. While circumstances of finance might have changed it is important not to forget the principles on which a country was founded. Government is in charge of budgeting and while there are currently large scale spending cuts in lots of areas, education is not one which should be affected. If college becomes overpriced it will lead to fewer students, but fundamentally it could possibly even lead to lower levels of education stopping being free.
Imagine having to pay for high school or even kindergarten. There would be millions of people who wouldn’t be able to read or write thanks to a costly education system.
Few things are free any more, but it would be a shame if education were to become something that was a commodity enjoyed only by the rich. It can’t ever happen.