By now you’ve probably realized that nothing in life is free. You can’t just go to the store and take a bottle of shampoo or a loaf of bread. If you’re lucky, there might be a buy-one, get-one free deal. But that still requires you to buy something.
Even things you receive for free, someone had to buy, and I don’t just mean gifts. The roads you drive on, the surgery that insurance covers, your elementary education, all of this is paid for by someone, somehow.
When President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20 that he wants to provide free community college tuition, there was, of course, a catch. It would mean increasing taxes on upper class Americans to cover the bill, according to CNN.
In a way, this proposal is trying to add two more years onto “free” education in the U.S. It leaves me to question that, if this passes, would it make those two years of college less valuable to employers? Going into the workforce with only a high school degree isn’t generally considered very promising, and job opportunities are limited because virtually everyone in the U.S. is just as educated as you are at that point. By providing free community college, it could create the same stigma.
Now, don’t get me wrong, being more educated is never a bad thing. However, higher education is a privilege, not a right.
People work hard to earn their higher education. Scholarship money can cover much of, or all of, a community college education.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, students who “enroll at least part-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, make progress toward their degree and are enrolled in a transferable or high-demand program are eligible for the program.” That seems like a very broad list of qualifications to me. Scholarships already exist to help those who work hard, and there is no need to further generalize those requirements.
If you want your college paid for, you need to work hard in high school.
There are countless scholarships offered based on GPA, test scores, community service and more. What motivation is there to maintain a 3.75 GPA when a student who earns a 2.5 GPA is going to receive just as much free education?
But let’s get back to the point that nothing is really free. The U.S. national debt is currently more than $18 trillion, according to www.usdebtclock.org. For Obama to want the government to cover more and more expenses is simply not logical. Our government already doesn’t have enough money.
One of the first things my parents taught me about money was to not spend it if I didn’t have it. Seems pretty simple.
Clearly, our government has a long way to go before our finances are repaired. The last thing we need to do is add another item to our spending list.
Education is valuable and should be taken advantage of to its fullest. We are blessed in the U.S. to have access to so many choices and opportunities in higher education. However, it is not the responsibility of the government to pay for it past a certain point.