Free tuition would not ruin U.S. colleges
In a recent op-ed, Michael MacDowell argued that free tuition would financially ruin U.S. colleges and universities. Although I am also not a fan of free tuition, I disagree with several of his arguments.
First, a university education is not just a financial benefit for the graduate, it is a benefit for all of society. In today’s high-tech world, we need a better-educated workforce to compete in our global economy. No longer can a high school degree achieve that.
Second, free tuition does not mean unlimited access. Colleges and universities will still require students to meet admission standards. Florida has a scholarship program that pays tuition to state universities for its best students, but its universities are not any more crowded or financially strapped than otherwise.
The current financial decline in U.S. colleges is more tied to the unavailability of enough qualified students. The traditional college-age student population is decreasing nationally, so many universities are setting up online degree programs for older students. Those educational institutions that are not innovating are going out of business. Steven Van Sciver Bethlehem Township