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GRE Issue 12: 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.
I partially agree with the statement that government should offer a free university education to any student who has been admitted to a university but who cannot afford the tuition.
It goes without saying that government should aid excellent students who cannot pay their tuition because of poverty. In a sense, despite different family economic status, every one has the right to receive higher education for which he or she has already qualified. If all poor students cannot enter college for further study, even though they are talented, society is bound to lose promising talents in the future. On the other hand, without funds from government, wealthier students with poor performance may occupy vacancies that should be filled by those poor but gifted students. As a result, rich students are more likely to get promising jobs than poor ones. Therefore, in long term, it is detrimental to countries for further development since the social mobility will stagnate and country can hardly pick up genuine talents.
Admittedly, governments should fund university so as to provide opportunities for poor students, but from my perspective, offering a free university education to any student is a little bit infeasible. This action will put a heavy burden on governments’ budget because government may utilize revenues to carry out more urgent projects, such as amelioration of transportation system or construction of public libraries. Thus, a realistic way to handle this dilemma is that government ought to help poor students by paying off one third or half of tuition and let students pay the rest through part-time jobs.
Some people may argue that the time spent on part-time jobs can be used in a more meaningful way by students as they can do experiments or read books during this time. It is true that they can get rich knowledge in these ways and consequently become more experienced in certain fields, but doing part-time jobs enable them to learn something they can never obtain from books. Humans are social creatures. Without proper skills of communication and cooperation, a talent is not able to make contributions to society. Therefore, doing part-time is a win-win situation in which poor students can not only earn money for tuition, but also gain some unique experiences.
In addition, government can motivate enterprise to donate to universities for the purpose of avoiding heavy pressure on budget. Or colleges can encourage eminent alumni to patronize qualified poor students. A large number of universities in China is an excellent example of this point. Local governments will spend some money for financial aid coupled with local prestigious corporations which patronize students annually. In this way, most impecunious students need not pay any tuition. So, instead of offering a free university education to any student alone, government can take great pains to motivate other enterprises to undertake responsibilities mutually.
In conclusion, government should not offer a free university education to any student who has been admitted to a university but who cannot afford the tuition. On one hand, government can pay some amount of tuition while students can pay the rest through part-time jobs. On the other hand, local enterprises can also patronize students voluntarily.
This is a reasonable response to the prompt. You tend to focus on the negative consequences of implementing or not implementing the policy. You argue that with such a policy, the action will put a burden on the budget and cause other projects to be underfunded. And you argue that without such a policy, less qualified students will take positions at university that might have gone to poorer students, and that will impact social mobility and the amount of talent in a country. It might be preferable to focus just on what would happen if the policy were implemented (since that is what the prompt suggests) and then to describe in more detail than you currently do the possible consequences of such implementation. You also focus only on consequences of the policy for society in general, neglecting the consequences on the university itself or the consequences for students.
Best , EJ.