One of the hallmarks of education in the USA is that students are required to pay the regular tuition fees, at least at the higher levels. The cost of studying in American schools is notoriously high. The fees are not regulated by the government; in fact, they are contingent upon an institution itself. Much has been made to solve this issue. Some people have even demanded the introduction of free education, which would be imprudent for a number of reasons. Particularly, free education is not an option, because it would affect the financial independence of the general population, impair its quality, and inculcate wrong principles into students.
Obviously, someone has to cover the costs of education. It is financially not feasible to provide students with high quality education without charging them. Someone has to accept liability for study expenses. If students were exempt from this responsibility, then it would fall on taxpayers’ shoulders, who already pay for educational grants and scholarships allocated to students annually. It is illogical to make taxpayers scapegoats in the situation that should be entirely handled by individuals for whom education is in their best interest.
Making education free presupposes that the government finds financial resources elsewhere. It would probably resort to increasing taxes or cutting some of the social benefits or services. Introducing changes to welfare programs for the sake of free education is unacceptable in terms of fairness. Instead of resolving the problem, it only shifts the burden onto the public. Additionally, if the government had to raise taxes to cover expenditures on education, it would influence personal freedom that is linked to financial independence. Higher tax rates affect disposable income, which, in its turn, may limit access to some services for many families. Therefore, it is selfish to do so given that it is students who need higher education.
Some might oppose claiming that free education would make colleges and universities attainable to a greater number of students. However, it is a truism to say so. With all those student achievement grants and state scholarships, everybody has a chance to enter a college or university. Furthermore, a large percentage of students are eligible to apply for a student loan that would cover tuition. There are no hindrances on students’ way to higher education although there is no free education system in the USA. Also, considering that repayments have decreased, the contemporary student loans regulations are far more favorable.