Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “How valuable will education be if everyone gets it for free?” that ran Jan. 18 from Leanna Walsh.
I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding from the author’s part:
Having the grant (thereby making it easier for accepted students to attend post — secondary education) doesn’t mean floodgates open for university admission and now accepting everyone who applies.
This grant is intended to help students decide between, for example, some university further away vs. one closer. It helps determine whether to take a few years off from earning a steady (albeit lower) stream of income to invest in themselves and get an education that will help earn higher wages for the rest of their life.
Also, with regards to the statement: “But if everyone could get their degree, regardless of financial or academic input, then we may find ourselves competing in a future workforce with thousands of similar candidates, instead of just hundreds like it is now.” Again, I think students still need to work through getting a degree, and put effort into doing the best they can before they graduate.
I (optimistically) believe our degrees count for something because I DID have to work hard for mine and there were a few hairy moments when I thought I wasn’t going to make it.
Those who work hard for degrees (and supported and make use of available resources) will get them, and not everyone can do that.
Finally, to touch on the author’s point about it being difficult to stay motivated without thinking about education costs and how much you’re putting into it financially … everyone has different motivations and reasons for attending university.
They can be private reasons, and struggles people go through to complete them can be equally as private. I may not know what all of our peers choose to do with their free time or when they lack financial stress, but from my own experience, I know being fortunate enough to not be stressed about personal finances can just as easily motivate someone to work their ass off. (I see it in the people around me and in myself too).
4A, Rhetoric, Economics and Business, Co-op