Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.

Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.

I get, OK? I get that these topics are enticing because college tuition is a hot political issue these days. But really, do people think before casting their votes? Or is it just some sort of weird gut reaction? This topic is awful. Who is going to provide the tuition? What if that entity doesn’t follow up? What is a community or technical college? If the tuition is guaranteed anyway, why can’t it be used toward an accredited four year college? How do you translate varying tuition rates into absolute dollar amounts? What if somebody goes to a more expensive college than somebody else? How do you resolve the unfairness in a private school market?

How do you answer all these questions in a 40 minute debate round? In short, I hate people. However, my hatred of people cannot prevent me providing a topic overview to help all you debaters out there, so let’s get to work.

Definitions

Two Years of Free Tuition – This is tricky to define. What exactly does this mean? Two years of tuition isn’t the same everywhere. Does this mean you just go to a college and then send a bill to someone who then pays for it? It’s strange, but without any context, that’s the definition we have to go with.

Community or Technical College – These colleges provides associates or technical degrees like nursing training, tech certificates, and the like. The point to remember is that they are not four year accredited colleges, and that is the distinction the resolution is trying to make.

Case Positions

Pro

1. Debt Reduction – You help the country’s economy by reducing student debt. Students who should not attend four year colleges end up doing so and going into a great deal of debt which they can’t get out of because they can’t get a job. Paying for technical college motivates these students to go to those colleges. The effect is a great amount of debt reduction which improves the national economy.

2. Socioeconomic Class Sorting – In Plato’s Republic, Plato outlines his ideal structure for society. In this structure, everyone has their appropriate part to play. Frankly, there is a section of society which is meant for functional rather than creative careers. This section should be attending community or technical colleges and not four year institutions. It should also be easy for them to do so.

3. Reducing Government Spending – Providing this level of education for free will actually reduce government spending. More educated people are healthier, have higher incomes, and are more independent. This will reduce welfare costs, medicare expenses, and other expenses to maintain an impoverished population.

Con

1. Reduced Free Market Competition – If tuition is provided, the different factor of cost is eliminated, allowing schools to become far more expensive. Since the government is paying anyway, why wouldn’t schools just charge more and provide lower quality? A tuition incentive falls outside of the free market, and therefore inappropriately disrupts that market.

2. There Shouldn’t be Community/Technical Colleges – College is the wrong place to gain vocational skills. The workplace and high school education need instead to be adjusted in order to have an ideal economic structure. Providing free college tuition removes the incentive for creating that ideal structure.

Enjoy debating this utterly terrible topic.

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6 responses to “Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.

  1. Agree that it isn’t a good topic, but I really think it was the lesser of two evils for the month, which has been the problem this season…by the time we get to the point of voting, much like Presidential elections, we’re at a point of choosing from the least bad of two bad options.

  2. I’m glad you wrote this, but I’m just not seeing the real impact of the negations contentions. Care to enlighten me?

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