Free College Tuition : Is It No Longer The Global Leader? Essay

772 Words Feb 9th, 2016 4 Pages
Free college tuition in America is a highly disputed topic. One truth is undeniable, that America is no longer the global leader in collegiate completion. There are many ways to rectify this depressing statistic. An initial reaction may be to decrease the cost barrier allowing more students to enroll while others encourage a more comprehensive k-12 education system to better prepare students for the rigors of college. The commonality between both proposals is that something must be done. There is not, however, a consensus on how best to "right the ship".
The downward trend of college graduation rates must be halted. In an attempt to curtail this trend many are advocating for free college tuition. Andrew P. Kelly, the resident scholar and the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute, disagrees, stating, "Free college plans assume that tuition prices are the main obstacle to student success, looking past problems of educational quality and college readiness. Take community colleges, where federal grants cover the price of tuition for the average low-income student. Despite free tuition, just one-third of students from the bottom income quartile who started at a community college in 2003 finished a degree or certificate by 2009." Kelly 's assertion is that free college tuition seems to be having no effect on the overall graduation rates. His theory concerning readiness and quality of education is extremely useful because…

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