Should Governments Help Pay for College

Should government money be invested in the future?
Should government money be invested in the future?

How would you answer the following question: should governments help pay for college? This is a controversial issue not only in education, but also in economics. Most adults who are returning to college would leap at the opportunity of a government-subsidized education. However, students fresh out of high school might not recognize the benefit of government-financed classes and create frivolous costs.

Should Governments Help Pay for College in the 21st Century?

On the yes side of the argument, education is the only way to maintain a technological and developmental advantage over other nations. Higher education equals higher salaries and more opportunities. The problem is that the average cost of higher education is $87,000 to $115,000 for four years at a state university. Graduate programs will increase the cost and these figures are based on 2006 estimates; each year the cost continues to rise.

Yes, the Government Should Offset the Cost of College

While taxpayers would carry the burden initially, government support of a college education can help eliminate the need for welfare. It can also help reduce the levels of family or class-related poverty. Children of college graduates typically attend college. The average family cannot afford the constantly rising cost of college unless the parents themselves are college graduates.

Taxpayers support the education of convicted criminals who undergo rehabilitation in prison, earn high school and college degrees and may even graduate law school while behind bars. If the government can pay for a criminal's education, shouldn't the government pay for the education of people who have never committed a crime?

No, the Government Shouldn't Pay for College

College educations are optional and it takes a family and a community to create the right situation for students to go to college. Numerous scholarship opportunities along with grants and student loans are available. Students who receive a free ride are also less likely to value the education versus having to work for it. This is an unfortunate byproduct of human nature. Many self-made millionaires made their fortunes without graduating high school, much less college. The desire to succeed is the driving force, with college being just one more tool in a student's arsenal. If the government pays for education, the government can also institute testing to determine what a student's best options are and from there, assign jobs. While this is speculative at best, turning over a person's individual future for a college tuition check is not necessarily the plan that supports freedom of choice.

The Government Already Pays for College

The United States government already offers to pay for college for students who enlist in the military and serve their country. Military service and the G.I. Bill ensure that those who risk giving up their lives to protect their country are amply rewarded. In many other countries, government service also provides a government paycheck and subsidization of education and more. Government-funded grant and loan programs also pay the way for many college students.


Going to college may not be optional, but it remains a privilege that should be earned and should require sacrifice. Unfortunately, one must only look at the public school system to see how easy it is to take the educational system for granted. The next time you wonder, "Should governments help pay for college?" hopefully you can now better understand the complexities of the issue.

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Should Governments Help Pay for College