Imagine living in United States if every American had a job of their choosing. How many of you here currently work at a job that you dislike, but need to work in order to make ends meet? How many of you have to work multiple jobs because you don’t get paid enough? Today, I will be discussing why I believe college should be free. (Thesis Statement) By removing the largest obstacle facing students, which is money, the university attendance rates would skyrocket; leading the country to an influx of highly trained and qualified people entering the workforce without the burden of student loans. Today, I am going to persuade all you students that college should be free.Order now
First, I will be speaking about the college enrollment rates. Second, I will discuss how many high school graduates are choosing to go straight into the workforce and thirdly, I will discuss the infamous topic of student loans. (Transition) Let’s begin with why college should be free.
Main Point I:
Over the last few years, college enrollment rates have decreased. 1. Journalist Floyd Norris “Last October, just 65.9 percent of people who had graduated from high school the previous spring had enrolled in college, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this week. That was down from 66.2 percent the previous year and was the lowest figure in a decade. The high point came in 2009 when 70.1 percent of new graduates had gone on to college.” ( New York Times)
From personal experience, when I was in high school I was debating whether to go to college in state or out of state. When it came time to apply for colleges my senior year I realized tuition for out of state universities was outrageous and I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to some of the schools that I wanted to so I went the in-state route. I was accepted to a few universities in Florida, but when it came down to deciding which Florida University I was going to enroll in I decided not to enroll in any. Why? Well, my parents couldn’t afford the tuition let alone books, room, and board. Sadly, many high school seniors and high school graduates went through the same situation as I did. These situations wouldn’t occur if college were to be free, the United States would have a lot of high school seniors enrolling in colleges and the enrollment rate would increase if college were free. (Transition) Now that I have explained the decrease in college enrollment rates, next I will be discussing the many high school students who decide to go straight into the labor force.
Main Point II:
High school graduates are choosing to go straight into the labor force instead of enrolling in college to further their education.
“The bureau reported that 51 percent of the high school graduates who did not go on to college had jobs by October and that 74 percent were in the labor force, meaning they either were employed or were looking for work.” (Census.gov)
I have always been a planner. When I started high school I created a college portfolio because I knew after high school I wanted to go to college. As I stated earlier I chose not to go to college after high school because I couldn’t afford it, even with my parent’s assistance. For someone like me, it was heartbreaking to not be able to go to college because I had worked so hard in high school to build an impressive college resume. I participated in many school clubs like Student Government, National Honor Society and STEM Club. Getting accepted for me was not an issue, but money was and personally not having the opportunity to further my education because of money was incredibly discouraging.
“Almost half (48 percent) of all young people, about 15 million, are not in school. Some of them have graduated from high school, but many appear to have decided they were finished” (Brookings.edu) these statistics are high because many graduates are choosing to not further their education due to financial reasons. When I knew I couldn’t afford college I started looking for jobs because I thought to myself, “I can get a job, save up money then apply for college even if I had to be a part-time student”.
Although my plan didn’t go the way I wanted it to. If college had been free I would be in a different place than I am today. As you sit here listening to me I want everyone to picture where you would be today if you had attended college and earned a degree for free. (Transition) Now, that we discussed high school graduates choosing work over education. I will now be talking about the infamous topic of student loans. Main Point III: No one enjoys taking out loans. Why would you voluntarily choose to be in debt? Student loans are loans that are given to students who are eligible.
Many schools and bank afford student loans. Many ads are out there tell parents and students “you don’t have to pay until after you graduate” or the “interest rates are very low”.
“Vijay Govindarajan states how long can a business model succeed that forces students to accumulate $200,000 or more in debt and cannot guarantee jobs — even years after graduation?” (Vijay Govindarajan: Should College Education be Free?)
I was given the option to take out a student loan for my education, but I knew since day one that was not the route I would be taking for several reasons. What these persuasive ads don’t tell you is that when you go to buy a home or car banks will see that you not only have an outstanding balance; you took out a student loan and having been carrying that debt for years. That loan can impact many future purchases and can adversely impact your credit score for decades. If college were free no one in America would be going through the situation that many Americans go through every day.
The average student loan borrower owes more than $35,000, a number which has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Today Americans, collectively, hold approximately $1.5 trillion worth of student loans. (Krugman) One of the benefits that countries with free tuition have is that students are able to study their major of choice and everyone has the opportunity to study whether rich or poor. When it comes down for future purchases the bank will not give them any issues when asking for a loan of a home or car.
My old high school English teacher, Mrs. King, told me many times “I am going to die before I’m done paying student loans”. If college were free it would be one less thing to worry about in the future. (Transition) Today, I have discussed with you about the decrease in enrollment rates. I spoke high school graduates choosing work over education and lastly, I discussed the impact of student loans.
As I come to an end, I must ask why college free isn’t. Why shouldn’t the government allow everyone who is willing to further their education go to college for free regardless of their financial status? We can all agree college is expensive. I hope I have opened up your eyes on why I chose to speak about this important topic. Everyone here would be in a different place if college were free. The United States college enrollment rate would increase, students graduating high school would choose to further their education rather than going straight into the labor force, and student loans wouldn’t be an issue for future purchases.