Education is considered to be a basic right in the modern world, one that all should have access to, but with rising college tuition and living costs, it may seem achievable.  Many arguments have sprung up throughout the United States concerning the affordability (or possible lack thereof) of advanced schooling, so much so that a presidential nominee of the 2016 election gained popularity primarily due to his proposed policy of free college tuition.  This popular idea has seemed the correct path to follow by relatively large sum of the U.S. population.  But the widespread call for free tuition is not as beneficial as many think.  Not only have foreign countries proven the inefficacy of tax funded college, but they also have much different circumstances than those of America.

Among the few countries that have tax funded college are France and Norway.  Now Norway’s free education may seem pretty nifty.  Why not follow their lead?  Well, the reason that Norway can afford such a thing might stop you in your tracks- it has one of the highest costs of living in the world, trumping America’s significantly.  So what about France?  The French have used the traditional apprenticeship for the majority of careers that one might go to college for in America, making college less necessary for the general population.  The individuals seeking more educationally advanced careers such as doctors and lawyers and businessmen are the primary college students in France.  This might seem fine and dandy, and it seems to work for France, but there are a few things to take into consideration- for one, the drastically smaller population, and another, the dissatisfaction with French universities.  Because tuition is basically free, or so low it’s nearly nothing, college educations in France mean very little as both students and educators lack the motivation of the cost of college- the students paying so little that the campuses lack upkeep and a failed semester means nothing; the educators making very little for their efforts as compared to the salaries of those in their field.  This means less motivation to become a professor and less motivation to teach well.  

Although free college is seemingly unrealistic for the American economy and lifestyle, college can still be affordable to all if only you take a step back and examine your options.  Scholarships, federal aid, and loans come together to cover the balance; a balance you can work off easily in the future with correct planning and responsible career choices.

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