The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

College Education should be Necessary for All U.S. Citizens

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,104 times Debate No: 10306
Debate Rounds (3)
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Hi. My name is Dillon and education has always been an important thing for me. With our downfalling economy, I believe that a required college education would be very important, as with a college education, better paying jobs are available, therefore stimulating the economy for us. With more and more people getting better jobs, a larger amount of money the will have to pay for Social Security, which would possibly help decrease the deficit the U.S. economy is in right now. Also, a college education would allow for more innovative technologies to be developed in the future, as well as a generally smarter public, which is always beneficial. I am sorry I do not have any sources cited, but it is 10:15 P:M where I live and I still have work to do. Also, not many sources are available, as this debate isn't exactly the largest thing to be arguing about.


I thank my opponent for this debate and look forward to it.

My opponents central argument is that College ensures jobs and more jobs means more money in circulation. However, this is not the case as I will prove in my case.


College ought not be required for two reasons:
1. It puts American citizen's into debt.
2. It is no longer the insurance for a job or future success that students were one guaranteed.

1. On the Wall Street Journal Blogs this week an alarming study by the Project on Student Debt was released. The nonprofit reports that average debt for college seniors who graduated with loans in 2008 rose to $23,200 in 2008, up from $18,650 in 2004. Roughly two-thirds of students graduate with student loans, government surveys show. Also it found that the highest debt levels were in the District of Columbia, where students graduated with average debts of $29,793, and Iowa, where students with loans carried $28,174 on average. And many economists worry that such financial challenges could hurt the earning potential of these college graduates long after the recession's end. There's also concern about whether and when these same grads will be able to save for retirement, start businesses or buy homes. However the report also doesn't calculate the impact on students (or, for that matter, parents) who use credit cards, home equity lines of credit or 401(k) loans to finance college. These tactics were likely to have been more common when many survey respondents entered college around 2004, as the housing and economic boom were gathering steam. So as we can see college voluntarily is becoming a burden to individuals, both during school and after. And in order to pay these ever increasing debts student have been forced to get more and more jobs, thus decreasing the value of education they can receive. But it is not just the Student Loans and future 401(k)s that are bogging down students, the city of Pittsburgh is proposing what appears to be a one-of-a-kind 1% tuition tax on local university and college students. Now this could be considered fair if it were not due to the fact that the money collected combined with the already more than $20 million in other taxes (on schools and students), would be used in order to pay for the city's goals and ambitions. All of this only further sinking the ignorant student into mounds of debt, ruining their lives.

2. "Just like other investments, some people are realizing that past performance does not guarantee future returns,". Lauren Asher, president of the Project on Student Debt and co-author of the paper, says. As many graduates have learned, a solid degree from an august institution doesn't necessarily guarantee a decent paying job, or any job at all.



In short forcing college on individuals, expecially in these uncertain economic times, is a death sentence. We will plague our students with poor credit, an education that could not be wholly taken advantage of, and next to no possibilities for jobs. Therefore we must allow college to remain a choice to individuals as it has in the past.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for responding to my argument promptly.

My opponent states 2 main points that:
1. American citizens can't afford a college education.
2. It doesn't guarantee a good job.

However, I believe that college should be required as:
1. Universities offer better returns if you invest.
2. The number of scholarships are rapidly increasing, and even if you couldn't obtain one, community colleges offer a good education and often enough, financial aid.

1. Caroline Hoxby, a Stanford (and formerly Harvard) economist who specializes in educational issues, states that "the value of the education has actually been increasing faster than the tuition. She calculates that at the most selective colleges, the amount spent on each student has grown at an average annual rate of 13% from 1967 to 2007, reaching about $92,000. Over the same period, tuition at the selective schools grew at an average annual rate of 6%. The difference is made up by increasing charitable contributions from alumni and others. The investment, says Ms. Hoxby, is well worth the money spent. Even accounting for charitable contributions, she notes, studies have found that students who attend highly selective colleges have much greater lifetime earnings than those who don't. The studies suggest that the return on investment in education at a selective school is similar to the long-term return on stocks.

"Since the mid-1990s, the average (inflation-adjusted) wages of college graduates have skyrocketed, increasing by 18 percent" as of 2004, a recent study found. In contrast, wages of high school dropouts rose at about half that rate -- 10 percent -- over the same period. The Census Bureau in 2004 calculated that the average college graduate earns $27,800 more per year, adjusted for inflation, than the average high school graduate. That adds up to more than $1 million over a lifetime

As you can see, and have probably already heard, a college education does lead to better wages for the majority of people who attend and graduate, therefore college does in fact offer better returns.

2. The number of scholarships are increasing, and community colleges are always an option.

The University of Minnesota Scholarship Drive seeks to increase by 2,250 the number of students who are helped through privately funded scholarships. The goal is to raise $150 million, making it the largest scholarship fund raising effort ever undertaken by the university. Currently, 4,500 students receive scholarships funded through private gifts to the university. Indiana State University has increased the number of Presidents Scholarships to 20 for 2009-10, up from 15 in previous years, and has created a new University Honors Scholarship that will be awarded to 80 incoming freshmen.
The Presidents Scholarships award is the most prestigious award at the Indiana State University, and increasing it to 20 is a massive amount, as it provides students with $15,000 dollars a year.
The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will be offering approximately 75 more scholarships to incoming freshmen this fall as part of an effort to help students in tough economic times and maintain enrollment totals.
Community college costs just a fraction of the total price tag for public or private four-year residential colleges. If you're short on cash and don't have the test scores to win a merit scholarship, community college can save you thousands. But don't make your decision based entirely on money -- many four-year colleges offer excellent financial aid for those with serious need.


My opponent has dropped ever single argument I have made and merely added a set of new contentions. So that is the first reason to vote CON.

The thesis of this debate is exactly what my opponent said in his first speech, it can't be changed throughout the debate arbitrarily as he attemtps to do in his second "rebuttal" therefore we instantly drop these non-topical argument and focus on those presented (I will argue them however).

"I believe that a required college education would be very important, as with a college education, better paying jobs are available"

Therefore the burden of the CON is to prove that College education does not provide better paying jobs. As I have done in my first speech, also I took it a step further to point out how rather than provide a head start on success in life college sets students back, therefore we can clearly vote CON. Also we must note that their are no warrants supporting his first speech so we can once again drop all these absurd claims.

On to the PRO

Main Point 1: Universities offer better returns if you invest.

This is by far the most non topical argument of the round, so I see no reason why this should even be taken into consideration. Now it is non-topical because my opponent talks about Universities not Colleges. Universities are An institution for higher learning with teaching and research facilities constituting a graduate school and professional schools that award master's degrees and doctorates and an undergraduate division that awards bachelor's degrees. ( and Colleges are an institution of higher learning, esp. one providing a general or liberal arts education rather than technical or professional training. A Blatant difference, had my opponent clarified at the beginning of the debate that we are discussing both, I would argue them both, but because he didn't and there is little time for me to respond if he decides to arbitrarily establish this bond we can not allow him.

Main Point 2: The number of scholarships are rapidly increasing, and even if you couldn't obtain one, community colleges offer a good education and often enough, financial aid.

After we remember that we are trying to establish that college = better jobs so more money, we can realize this main point is incorrect. Because of the first main point where he says "studies have found that students who attend highly selective colleges have much greater lifetime earnings than those who don't". This is only talking about selective colleges and community colleges are not selective, also for this matter what are these studies? He never manages to cite them so how are we to know they actually exist? We can't so dismiss the studies but keep in mind that he agrees.

Also going back to my point about universities and colleges the entire set of warrants for how scholoraships are more available are only referenced from Universities, so we can dismiss this claim.

Remember we are not discussing Universities only Colleges, and for that matter my opponent fails to uphold a clear debate he merely suggests contentions and then drops them. So
Debate Round No. 2


Arcanist forfeited this round.


As I have Proved COLLEGE should not required my opponents forfeit and nontopicality ought to be impetus enough for the observers to vote for me. Thank You.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by omelet 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Arcanist 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cherymenthol 7 years ago
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