On March 1, five students of the Occupy movement entered the Student Center building and in a cult-like fashion one yelled and the other four repeated: “Mic check, do you want free education? Are you tired of student loans? Are you tired of being in debt? Then follow us down to Governor [Tom] Corbett’s’ office.” It is too bad some students’ support this, but fortunately I did not see anyone follow them out and from what I heard there was a small turnout. I would like to take time to answer the questions that these students posed to the crowd. The first question was, “Do I want free education?” No, I do not and no one should. If a college education was free, it would be worthless. Take a look at how much your high school diploma is worth. We go to college to get a valuable education. The next two questions regarding taking out loans and incurring debt to obtain your degree is simple to answer. When you applied to Temple or any other school, did they hide the tuition costs from you? They did not. When you decided to come to Temple, you decided to take on debt that no one forced you to take. If you do not want to take on this debt, you can go to a community college for two years then select a cheaper four-year school for your bachelor’s degree. It is possible to accomplish a four-year degree and only take on $24,000 in debt by the time you graduate. Even if your degree puts you into a low-paying job you would be able to handle paying off those loans. If you decided to be an on-campus student for all four years at Temple and decided to finance it through loans, you knew what the end result would be. It was your choice, but do not cry about after the fact when you knew the price going in. I think the most embarrassing events involved in this walkout were the stories I heard about professors giving these walkout students an excused absence for the day to participate in this event, eliminating their responsibility as students at Temple. To the Occupy activists who may be on campus, I have a chant of my own.
Occupy some personal responsibility, not our streets. Occupy a job, not our campus.
Temple College Republicans
“If a college education was free, it would be worthless. Take a look at how much your high school diploma is worth.”
Privilege doth speaketh.
Great letter! It’s sad that no one wants to take personal responsibility for their actions. No one forced you to enroll in college and tuition shouldn’t be a surprise. Something free is not as valuable as something you pay for.
While higher education should not be free (a system in which college would be free for everyone would be unsustainable without an unrealistically high amount of taxes), it should be at least affordable. In our economy, it is already difficult for college graduates to find a job and is more so for those without a college degree, making a college education necessary for many. Rising tuition costs is a problem, and Corbett is not making the problem any easier to handle. A 30% cut to Temple’s, Penn State’s, and U Pitt’s funding is devastating added to the 19% cut to Temple from last year. This cut would most likely have to be passed on to the students, new and old, thus making it more un-affordable for those who are already struggling. Temple’s tuition has already increased for subsequent years, from $13,596 to $14,376 for all in-state students; if the cut is passed, the latter figure is going to increase even further–and who knows by how much. Students–who are not Seniors, nor even Juniors–who have already invested in their education and wish to continue it will have to pay either more out of their pocket or take more loans–especially private ones if the government-provided subsidized loans do not suffice. While the option to drop-out is always available, a student’s investment in his or her education is lost, and s/he will most likely find repaying his or her already accumulated loans (assuming s/he has any) difficult. Furthermore, if one graduates with a mountain of debt, securing a job immediately after graduation–even after the grace period–is not guaranteed. Looking for a job is a risk all college graduates must take, though. Asking for an appropriate amount of funds to keep an undergraduate education affordable is fair from both the students and the University. For the state, investing in education is investing in the future, for college students will become Pennsylvania’s future workforce. The Universities are also very important for the economy themselves, especially the health care industry. All of that being said, should students pay what they can for their education? Yes. Should they take responsibility for the debt they accumulate? Yes. And should education be affordable? Absolutely.
Temple university college republicans are deluded. Free education is a moral imperative.
Anything that anyone wants or needs is something they believe they should have. Anything you believe you should have you regard as a right. Anything that is a right requires access. Anything that requires access must be free in order to make it available to everyone. In order to make everything available to everyone you must be able to confiscate (steal) from anyone you want in order to provide access. Like where this is going?
College is an elective service that you employ in exchange for the value of an education. You get to determine if it is worth the cost. The fact that it has become a bloated speculative financial bubble would be corrected over time by a free market. The only way to sustain tuition growth at 10X the rate of inflation (or more) would be to take all financing and turn it over to the government for control, and in collusion with the banking industry (through direct control and financial incentives) you can control education, content, and people’s financial future. Oh wait, we did that.
Saying that somebody should HAVE to pay for education is irresponsible, but saying that if you don’t pay for it then the education is useless is ignorance in its purest form. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Ben Franklin, Fredrick Douglas were all self educated(which is pretty inexpensive) so is their education worthless because they didn’t pay for it? And yes it is true that nobody PHYSICALLY forces you to go to school but look at the pressure that society puts on you, the entire point of high school is to “prepare you for college”, every school pumps ads all over the place that say “want to improve your life? Than come to our school and you will”, not to mention the pressures from their own friends and family to “make them proud”. This pushes kids to go into the 1st school that excepts them, blind to the expenses because they are just happy to be able to tell people that they are in college. Why do you think there are all these unaccredited “fly by night”schools exploiting these kids (and sometimes adults) fears of not being educated enough for society and delivering low quality education for a high price? These schools would not and could not exist in a world of free education. Education should not be used as a symbol of status or to put yourself above other people and it DEFINITELY should not be a tool of finance. Education is what we as HUMAN BEINGS should be using to raise up our entire SPECIES not just the select few that can afford it. “Each one teach one because we’re only as fast as the last man stumbling”
It’s definitely a tough issue we’re discussing here. On the one hand, education is an expensive thing that we need, and has hidden costs that add up in ways that are devastating to graduates upon reciept of diploma. On the other hand, because education beyond high school is valuable, there has to be some price attached to it. I’m not condoning free higher education, because the value a college degree holds outweighs the calls to strike the price on it. Although a Democrat, I have to agree with Paul and the College Republicans on this one. YOU choose to attend college, therefore you accept any and all fees that come with it. Don’t complain about the refusals of banks and the federal government to forgive all loans, as unwise monetary choices such as these put us into the current situation. Kindly refrain from making a public fool of yourselves and occupy a desk/office/brain! Jobs are out there, just not where you’d looking.