Should Public Higher Education be Universal & Free?

According to professor Sara Goldrick-Rab and her work “Public higher education should be universal and free”, financial aid does not provide low-income students enough to cover the expenses throughout the length of higher education; instead of helping, it causes dispute and resentment between politically aided families and those who are not, as those are clearly divided into two groups. Besides, the author uses the method of comparison on similar examples from the real political programs to confirm her point of view.  Thereby, the reader could feel the significant difference between the consequences of the Pell Grant program, and such programs as Medicare and Social Security, which are strongly supported by the government and provide benefits to all senior citizens. Via such a contrast comparison, the author emphasizes the importance of focusing on free and ensuring quality policies, including free higher education. She states, that higher education needs to be affordable in order to help to drive the democracy and economy of the country. She also points out, that free education would change the prejudice about the ability to pay to be a proof of the talent in The US. Throughout the whole article, Goldrick-Rab supports the argument with such premises, persuading the audience to the competence of her opinion.

Sara Goldrick-Rab starts her article with telling about her own experience in long-term public education and receiving financial aid from the government, this way ensuring the readers in the reliability of her statements against the financial aid incompetence.

Moreover, the author notably does emphasis on a phrase “It helps students focus on learning rather than working so that they complete degrees faster and having acquired more skills.” Besides, she uses it several times in the text. As it seems, this particular sentence represents the main idea and also serves as a quite efficient support for the argument. As a conclusion to the article, the author attempts to convince the audience in free and universal college effectiveness, and states, that it would help students concentrate on the studying and making it their main priority, rather than on working hard in order to make enough money for completing the education and graduating.

Judging “Public Higher Education Should Be Universal and Free” by its structure and narrative style, it is quite simple, minimalistic and commonly-used – it consists of an introduction (including the thesis statement), the main part (presented as an argument), and convincing and quite inspiring conclusion. However, people who like innovative, unique narrative styles and text structures with the eloquent and complicated lexicon, might be disappointed, because the argument and text itself are fairly simplistic. But, even though the article may not seem lengthy, the author briefly argues her point of view using the comparison of examples from the real political situations. The main point of the article is compactly and shortly conveyed through the name, and the information is presented in a quite precise order. Despite the brevity and simplicity, Sara Goldrick-Rab’s opinion on the topic of free colleges does not leave the readers with the feelings of understatement or restraint. Author’s confidence in writing usually conveys to the audience, therefore, making the argument convincing and concluding, which subtracts the need an extra explanation. In such instance it would seem to be quite hard to say that the argument of “Public Higher Education Should Be Universal and Free” is a dangerous and not informative enough work of writing.

However, there are some statements in Goldrick-Rab’s work, that need to be discussed. She highlights, that lowering the costs of higher education for all the students will ensure the quality of the knowledge, which is quite contradictory because will all the talented students entering the college doors, there also will be not so interested in studying people. But, it would definitely an improvement of equality among students all over the country.  

According to Sara Goldrick-Rab’s article, nowadays such required term as a higher education should be both affordable and granting quality for every student, and as a student myself, I must admit that I agree with this point of view (Goldrick-Rab, 2016).

Due to the war situations, unemployment, massive refugees’ migration and many other economic problems in countries, families often become unable to afford the college tuition. Sadly enough, the countries lose dozens of talented students and future professionals in their field only by increasing the cost of high education and focusing on making it affordable through the financial aid; which is indeed not able to cover the expenses of every American low-income student.

Every government knows that there is a tendency across the globe in developing massive ignorance and so-called “collective mind,” and still, achieving affordable education might seem like a dream nowadays. The idea of free higher education is innovative and efficacious for every country’s progress on both social and economic bases since the amount of high-educated people leads to the fewer amount of crimes, unemployment, and lawbreaking at large. Moreover, with a broad field of affordable colleges and universities people have more freedom in choice of their interests, future occupation and more opportunities to implement new ideas.

Though there are many pros to this idea, the absolute absence of cons is impossible, so it is still a topic of debates for every government. The taxation, devaluation of higher education degrees, students’ inability to spend the money rationally and many other possible troubles would cause a massive danger to a certain country’s economic state. Notwithstanding, the idea of making colleges affordable and universal creates a broader and more significant range of advantages for the students and the particular government at large.

Works cited

Goldrick-Rab, S. (2016, January 20). The Opinion Pages Room for Debate. Retrieved from A New York Times Company Web Site:

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: May 6, 2021] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]
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