Public College Tuition Should Be Free

Going to college without a scholarship can be a scam especially if you can’t financially support it. Many people feel obligated to continue to go to college even though they know they will be in a lot of debt afterward. The hope of obtaining a college degree to help their futures with getting the job they are after. Sadly, there are no guarantees that they will be getting the job. Also, most students attending college end up with debt that exceeds their annual income.

College puts nearly every student into a ton of debt that usually they cannot afford to pay. Free tuition would decrease the crippling debt. The US economy and society have benefited from tuition-free college in the past. Everyone deserves the opportunity to get a free college education but everyone’s situation does not allow them to. Therefore, I believe public college tuition should be free. The catch about free tuition though does not mean college is completely free.

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Some students could not take the opportunity seriously. They may not complete their degree because they know it's free or, there not wasting their money paying for the tuition. This could lead to a waste of taxpayer dollars. However, the opportunity of free tuition should be granted to reduce the number of total college debts.

Furthermore, free public college tuition will significantly diminish the number of loans taken by students. Student loan debt in the United States exceeds 1.5 trillion and 44.2 million Americans take account of this student loan debt.

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(Friedman) Not to mention, in 2019 the United States debt hit a record-breaking 22 trillion dollars which are extremely expensive. (Chappell) In 2018, the average student owed $33,310 worth of debt. (Carter) The average salary for a recent college grad in 2018 is $50,390.(Burnett) Almost the amount of their annual salaries, then they have to depend on their salary to live off. This would take most students a while to pay off. Disabling them from getting necessities such as a home, car, or being able to afford a family.

In addition, free tuition in the past has been proven to benefit the US economy and society. According to the website Procon in 1947 almost half of the college students were military veterans.

This was because of the “GI Bill in 1944 that ensured military service members, veterans, and their dependants ' free college tuition.”The bill enabled “ 2.2 million veterans to earn a college education, and another 5.6 million to receive vocational training, all of which helped expand the middle class. An estimated 40% of those veterans would not have been able to attend college otherwise. GI Bill recipients generated an extra $35.6 billion over 35 years and an extra $12.8 billion in tax revenue, resulting in a return of $6.90 for every dollar spent.” (Procon)

The economy benefits from free tuition by buying cars, getting homes, jobs after graduation, and not having to worry about the burden of paying off tuition debt. Also during world war one, the United States was number one in the world for college graduates versus tenth now.

A college education is essential for our economic, social, and cultural development as a country. Continuous price increase in tuition is affecting our workforce by preventing many from having the correct qualifications for certain jobs. Students from low and moderate-income families are unable to afford as many as 95% of American colleges. As stated by the US Department of Education, college graduates earn $570,000 more than a high school graduate over a lifetime, on average, and they have lower unemployment rates. Without free tuition, those who don’t receive government assistance but can not necessarily afford school will be affected.

Although public college tuition could be free, does not mean it is completely free. Tuition only accounts for 39.5 percent of student expenses. ( Block citation) “On average, in-state tuition at a public college costs $10,230 for each year. Fees, room, and board for on-campus housing are another $11,140. Books and supplies are another $1,240, transportation add $1,160, and other expenses cost another $2,120. Without tuition, college still costs an average of $15,660 per year.” (College Board) For example, Sweden has free college and yet students in that country had an average of $19,000 in student debt for living costs and other expenses in 2013, compared to the $24,800 in debt US college students had the same year. (Philips) An effect on the economy would result in taxpayers would spending billions to subsidize tuition, while other college costs remained high. Bernie Sanders’ purposed a free college plan that would cost a ton and still end up with states paying 33 percent of the 47 billion per year required. Taxes will have to increase and moves state priorities away from things like health care, prisons, roads, and K-12 education. We can’t forget that tuition-free college will decrease completion rates, leaving students without the benefits of a full college education and degree. Potentially millions of young people who have no business attending college would waste their time and taxpayer dollars seeking degrees they will not obtain. Vince Norton, the Managing Partner at Norton Norris, a campus marketing company, stated, 'students will enroll at a 'free college' and borrow money for the cost of attendance. Then, they will drop out and have a student loan but no skills.“(Norton) There should be a filter to determine how serious someone is with school and do they fit certain requirements to receive the free opportunity.

Even though there are so many pros and cons to having free college tuition, I believe free tuition is a good idea that should take place.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Public College Tuition Should Be Free. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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