How FREE is FREE Tuition?

How FREE is FREE Tuition?
  • Opening Intro -

    College tuition is a widely-debated subject in the U.S., especially with the upcoming presidential elections.

    More and more politicians are stating their opinions on the subject, from high-flying elite views to socialist ones referring to access for everyone.


More often than not, countries from Europe which have no tuition fees are given as positive examples – but is this something that is realistically possible in the U.S? And if the answer to that question is yes – who will pay for this “free” tuition?


Currently, 66% of Americans which are graduating high school attend college at any point in the future. Most of these students need a student loan in order to finance their education – private, state loan, or other types. The average debt per students is around $30,000, quite a large tax burden to start your life with.

In recent times, this figure rose almost year by year – students are starting their post-college life with crippling amounts of debt, their employability is dropping and colleges are becoming out of touch with economic reality.

These figures vary depending on what colleges we’re talking about – Ivy League, private, public, etc. But the core issue is the same: can we realistically speak about free tuition in the U.S.? The advantages are clear: investing in the future, giving students a good start in life, etc.

But there is no such thing as “free” tuition. Who will pay for it?


The origin of the money is the area where politicians fail to debate. When they say “free tuition for your kids”, everyone agrees with that. Wouldn’t you like to spend that $100,000 you saved up to pay for your child’s education? That would be great – but the complete sentence is “do you want to pay for college tuition from taxpayer money?” That is the real question.

The funding has to come from somewhere – and Americans are currently reluctant to have their tax dollars used for only 66% of high-school graduates.

Moreover, the investment in education is huge. Of course, educational investments offer great results, but these results only show in 10 or 20 years.

As much as the liberal politicians will argue (with reasonable truth) that investments in education are great, they can’t deny that the effects will only be visible in 20 years. Even after this period, it’s very hard to measure HOW large the impact will be.

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Essentially, the question comes down to the following: Do people avoid going to college due to lack of financial resources? If college graduates wouldn’t have a crippling amount of debt, how quick will they give money back to society? And if education were to be funded by taxpayer money, how many more people would attend college?


All those questions are valid, complicated and require quite large debates and concrete plans. Continuously saying “free tuition” can earn votes, of course, but it doesn’t provide any concrete action plans. Politicians have the responsibility to present the entire picture, and also bring solutions – true, valid solutions for the American taxpayer.

Share this article on social media in order to start some of these debates – regardless of the political views people have. Free tuition is on everyone’s lips these days. The more information we all find out, the quicker we’ll find a reliable solution.


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Categories: Commentary