What Are the Pros and Cons of Government Paid Free College?

Pros – Arguments For Government Paid Free College

  • It will lead to a better educated, more productive work force.
  • More college graduates means more workers in higher tax brackets; thus, the additional tax revenues would help finance the costs.
  • Free college could be tied to required public service work, similar to the way it is in the military.
  • It allows students to pursue education in their passions rather than just what will pay the bills, including crushing student loans.
  • With the relieving of education costs, parents, students, and graduates would have more disposal income to spend or invest in other areas.
  • There is a major shortage of highly-educated individuals in information technology, medicine, and other high-skilled professions.

Cons – Arguments Against Government Paid Free College

  • With the national debt and annual deficits already out of control, the U.S. can’t afford another entitlement.
  • It will shift the supply & demand curves for educational funds, meaning prices of tuition would shift much higher.
  • It isn’t fair to all those who fully paid for their college education.
  • As with public schools, when education is “free”, students don’t take the studies as seriously as they would if spending tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Government-funded college would come with strings attached; i.e. politicians and bureaucrats would be setting conditions & controls.
  • U.S. public school performance dramatically lags behind the world despite already spending far more than any country; so why, put the government in charge of college also?
  • Students would more likely study areas that have little job demand in the workplace rather than the skills society desperately needs.
  • The poorer individuals who don’t have the academic ability for college would in effect be subsidizing future high-income individuals.
  • There would be less interest in the practical skill-oriented tech schools since cost would no longer be an issue.
  • Politician interference would lead to more a much more inefficient system.
  • As with “crony capitalism“, having all that money available for education will lead to favoritism of political allies; for example, special rules for Ivy League schools.
  • Religious and other types of schools would be excluded due to constitutional restrictions and political power.
  • Colleges are already churning out brainwashed anti-American socialists perfectly willing to give up all their freedoms.  Putting government in charge of more education is likely to make the indoctrination even worse.
  • Free college incentivizes “professional students”; i.e. students who want to stay in school far longer than required to get a degree in order to avoid the real world.

Recommended Solution

  • Remove government control of the student loan industry, returning it back to the private sector.
  • Redo the college financial aid formula, granting fixed dollar grants and loans to students rather than tying the total to the tuition cost of the specific schools; in other words, whether you go to small state school or an Ivy League school, your aid dollars would be the same.  The current formula creates the incentive for expensive colleges to keep hiking tuition (i.e. shifting the supply curve of education funds).
  • Provide large grants for in-demand fields like medicine and information technology where there is a shortage of skilled workers. The grants would be conditional on pro-rated public service hours. For example, grants that pay for a medical degree would require 10,000 minimum salary hours of work in a VA or non-profit community hospital. If they don’t work the hours, they pay back the tuition.
  • Give $0 of tuition assistance for majors like sociology, minority studies, anthropology, etc. that are more for general interest of the student than marketable skills.
  • To avoid crushing financial burdens, allow students to pay back loans over 30 or 40 years like a low-interest mortgage.
  • Focus future aid packages on work study programs rather than grants and loans.
  • Create accredited degrees that can be built around free or low-cost online educational sites such as Khan AcademyUdemyGreat Courses, and YouTube.

Other Links That May Interest You

The High Cost of “Free” College – Kay James
11 Reasons Government is Less Efficient Than the Private Sector
Big Government and Socialism Meme Gallery
Pros and Cons of a Wealth Tax
Pros and Cons of Universal Basic Income
America’s Public Schools Have Become Socialist Indoctrination Factories – Justin Haskins


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bumper sticker my kid is honor student as dumbed-down government indoctrination camp
maybe its time we home school kid lighting flag on fire
greatest mistake in history was allowing government to educate our children
indoctrinates students about capitalism requires 900 dollars textbooks
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socialism-like-mouse-trap-works-because-mouse-doesnt-understand-why-cheese-is-free


Written by: Joe Messerli
Last Modified: 7/19/2019

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