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Governments Should Offer A Free University Education - With A Free Essay Review



PROMPT: Governments should offer a free university education to any student who has been admitted to a university but who cannot afford the tuition. Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.



Studying at university is an expensive investment. Tuition fees have a disincentive effect on the lower and middle-income students. Now, education is vital for the success of a society as well as personal prosperity. In Nelson Mandela’s words, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." This quote emphasises the fact that education is the bedrock of social and economic development. Hence, I believe that qualified candidates, who cannot afford the tuition fees, should have access to free higher education. The following illustrations would further my stance.

These days it is highly emphasized that the responsibility to educate the poor lies on the shoulders of the government. It should be, considering the significant hike in the tuition fees worldwide. In such circumstances, many intelligent and hardworking students miss out on studying in a reputed university due to lack of funds. This not only demoralizes the student, but also has a negative impact on the society as it loses out on its future professionals. On the other hand, only students from wealthier families would have access to the best learning opportunities, and they would therefore be better prepared for the job market. Sometimes these students may not have the required calibre to succeed in their chosen field. For instance, many students from wealthy background in India do not have the required potential and yet get selected to study medicine in a reputed college based on their family’s financial status. Such candidates may not become good doctors in the long run. Instead, these ‘seats' could have been adequately utilised by qualified candidates had they been given the chance.

One could argue that the students can meet their financial demands by working for a scholarship or by taking up part time jobs. The most appropriate question to be asked here is ‘How many people qualify for a scholarship?’ and the answer is ‘a few’. What about those who are capable of studying the course and who missed the scholarship by just a small margin? In some countries like India, the number of scholarship programs offered remains scant in comparison to population, half of which live below the poverty line. Thus, the hard working and eligible candidates from financially handicapped background often miss out on studying in reputed universities. Even taking up a part time job would not help assuage this problem. The income earned through such jobs would be insufficient to meet the daily needs, let alone pay for their education. In addition, the time spent in doing the job could have been utilised in a more productive way by the students. They could have invested those hours in their extracurricular activities or improving their academics. Again, the stress on the students would be less, which in turn would enhance their academic performance and help them become better professionals in the future. Hence, in sum, providing free education to deserving candidates would help those students as well as the nation in the long run.

Admittedly, funding for the students would result in extra financial expenditure for the government. But different methods can be implemented to solve this problem. For instance, the Armed Forces Medical College in India provides free education to all those who qualify to study there. In turn, the students have to sign a contract stating that they have to work in the college for a period of 5 years after completing their graduation. Therefore, by applying this policy, the candidate recieves a good education from a reputed college and the college in turn benefits from the services of the student for a certain period.

All in all, I believe that deserving candidates should be provided with a free higher education by the government as it would be beneficial for the student as well as the government and the nation in years to come.

_________________________________________________

ESSAY REVIEW

The last sentence of the first paragraph is a weak form of introduction to your essay. Instead of writing the following:

“I believe that qualified candidates, who cannot afford the tuition fees, should have access to free higher education. The following illustrations would further my stance.”

you might consider something like:

I believe that qualified candidates, who cannot afford the tuition fees, should have access to free higher education because X, Y, Z. [where X, Y, and Z are summaries of your reasons for believing what you believe].

If you do that, if in other words you write a clear thesis, the argument of your essay will be obvious from the start. That’s a good thing for test essays.

Let's look now at the organization of the second paragraph. Here are the arguments that you advance there:

1. When students "miss out ... due to lack of funds," they are demoralized.

2. Students' missing out "has a negative impact on society.

3. Weaker students with the benefit of wealth end up being poor exponents of their chosen field.

Here is the first sentence (which ought to be the topic sentence): "These days it is highly emphasized that the responsibility to educate the poor lies on the shoulders of the government."

Now that is not really a topic sentence, and it's certainly not the actual topic of your paragraph. That's the first problem with the way the paragraph is organized. The second problem is that the paragraph, perhaps as a result of not having a guiding topic sentence, doesn't have a central argument that forms its focus. Instead it has, as we have just seen, three distinct arguments which contend equally for the readers attention. Consider how different things would be (in terms of the focus in the paragraph) if you took your second argument above and made it the topic of the paragraph. Your first sentence might then look something like this: "Governments should offer free tertiary education to poor students who are qualified because when they do not, society suffers negative consequences." Now the paragraph will have a clear purpose (demonstrating the truth of the claim just made) and the third argument mentioned above can be incorporated in obvious support of that claim. You can abandon the first argument because nobody cares (or expects government to care) about demoralized students (unless you want to argue that demoralized students become revolutionaries!).

Your next paragraph deals appropriately with the possible objection that there might be alternatives to having the government provide funding, although you don't explicitly articulate the necessary argument here: government funding is the only reasonable solution to the problem.

Finally, the instructions for this prompt suggest that you "should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position." You do not really do this explicitly, though much of your argument is taken up with the consequences of _not_ implementing the policy. Your final paragraph could be read as part of your consideration of the financial consequences, and perhaps your final sentence of the second paragraph is vaguely responsive to that part of the prompt. But (in a test situation especially) you should probably try to make the fact that you are responding to the prompt obvious.

Best, EJ.

P.S. I've removed a few sentences which seem to have been borrowed from some unacknowledged source. Please don't do that! Especially don't do it in the GRE test (it's often obvious and is an automatic fail). The sentences in any case were not especially relevant to your argument.
Submitted by: sweta
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Comments
Parie
+1

There should be more examples..You cannot just concentrate on one country.Maybe expand your range of knowledge a bit.
September,20 2012

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