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Cost debate in question

A college education benefits students, but also benefits society. These two things sparked a debate last night questioning whether students should be held responsible for paying college tuition. The topic of the last debate in the Great Debate Series sponsored by the Philosophy Department, “Should Students Pay More Toward the Rising Cost of Education at State Universities” heated up Olscamp last night.

Loren Lomasky, philosophy professor at the University, said every student, regardless of family income, must be responsible in paying for their own education. He said students graduating from college will benefit from the substantial income that college allows and are therefore responsible.

Paul Haas, economics professor and Lomasky’s opponent, supported instead the idea that students should not have to bear the cost of their education alone since society as a whole benefits from it.

Arguing against Lomasky’s that college students should solely bear the cost of their education, Haas said, “One of the main requirements students must meet to attend college is that they have the ability to postpone earning an income .. after college, students do not immediately reap the fruit of their labor for having to pay off their loans.”

However, Lomasky said, “Taxpayers, especially those of lower income families who do not have children attending college should not be responsible for the education of others, especially when they do not reap the benefits directly. The burden of college cost should fall on those who are the beneficiaries of it, those directly purchasing it.”

Sophomore Lynn Parr said that the debate is more or less a domino effect.

“If more money leaves the hands of the University and goes directly into the hands of students in the form of loans and grants, it will have more of a drastic effect on students and society as a whole than what may be realized.

She said the question raised by this debate is whether these effects turn out to be more detrimental or more beneficial to students in the long run.

Another student, freshman Tyler Hart, said, “If the University stops receiving money from the government, there gradually will be less money to pay professors to teach students.”

The less money available to pay professors will increase the chances of professors looking for other places to earn a better income, Hart said.

“The more professors that state universities lose, will mean the less classes that will be available to students,” Hart said. “If classes become less available to students there will be a greater chance that students be forced to leave public or state universities.”

Eventually this will have a negative effect on state universities, Hart said.

“And the only option for college will be expensive private universities or not attending college at all and earning about $6.25 at McDonalds for a living,” Hart said.

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