A Discussion on Whether College Should Be Free

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About this sample


Words: 939 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Words: 939|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

There is a question today that might be more relevant in the ever-growing population of youths who are more eager to change the world than ever before. Many people have passionate opinions regarding the matter, from the average student in a rural area to influential politicians in the Congress, it is truly a debate that deserves more in-depth explanation rather than a yes or no answer. That question remains controversial and it is: Should college be free? Education is without a doubt one of the biggest factors that determines the fate of a nation but not easily accessible to all. From its high tuition cost and overwhelming student debt, it is a topic where it needs to be thoroughly analyzed as to why is should be free — or at least, more easily accessible.

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It is not a surprise to know how expensive college, university, or vocational schools can be. If the cost of attending higher education is too high, a lot of students simply choose not to pursue that path, leading many of them underqualified to find good employment because of their lack of credentials and experiences. In fact, the article New York Times, states, “The average cost of tuition and fees at an in-state public college is over $10,000 per year — an increase of more than 200 percent since 1988, when the average was $3,190,” and goes on to say that private schools can go as high as $50,000 a year. Additionally, the article reports, “44 million Americans collectively hold more than $1.5 trillion in student debt, and last year’s college graduates borrowed an average of $29,200 for their bachelor’s degree”. College obviously costs a lot of money, and it is mainly due to inflation. So, it is unfair for young people to graduate from their second education without having a stable financial life but be drowned in debt. Halle Cottrill, a tenth grade West Virginian student, argues that college should be free for students who make a “B” average by high school graduation because, “Some kids may want to become doctors, but their parents might not have the money to send them to college,” and she continues with a very valuable point on how rich and poor people should get the same education regardless of their background.

John Hopkins University researchers studied nearly eight-hundred schoolchildren and found groundbreaking results regarding the success of each child. One researcher, Karl Alexander, discovered that almost none of the children who were born into low-income families made it to college. Of the children, Alexander stated, “only 4 percent had a college degree at age 28, compared to 45 percent of the children from higher-income backgrounds.” Meaning that the children who were able to afford college were from families who had easy access to higher education than those who did not. If four-year public colleges in America were more easily accessible — or tuition free, it would take away the burdens of college for aspiring students.

There are politicians, such as Bernie Sanders, that understands the struggle of students and tries to push bills to benefit them for the attainability of their education and the stability of their future finance. Haley Snyder from The Huffington Posts explains, “Bernie Sanders…first says college costs are causing young people to go into so much debt that the rest of their lives are just about servicing this debt,” and it is very known for the median annual salary of a newly graduated college student to be significantly lower than the United States median annual household income. The article continues, “Second, he notes that today, a college degree is as essential for success as a high school diploma was a generation ago. Finally, he points out that America needs a highly educated workforce in order to be competitive in the global economy”.

Bob Luebke opposes the idea of free college by making the statement that taxes will rise notably, causing much disturbance to the already poor nation. Luebke says, “Free college tuition plans merely shift the costs of education from one group of taxpayers to all taxpayers. The proposals for free college are poorly targeted, too expensive, deliver too little and take away institutional and individual freedoms”.  While Luebke makes a good point, credentials influence the person’s ability to achieve a comfortable job career, there are many working poor who — no matter how much they work — fall below the poverty line because of their lack of educational requirements. Countries that offer free (or nearly free) colleges have seen a higher graduation rate from the students who do not need to worry about loans and can focus on their studies. Samuel Skwarski told Business Insider, “Having access to free education means you don’t need to rush into a BA program, graduate and start working to pay debts off. Instead, if you get a job on the side, you can actually study a bunch of courses for a couple of years to figure out what it is that you really want to do”.

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Everybody should have the same opportunities to pursue a degree no matter the state they are in financially or physically. It is the promise America gave to its citizens as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that truly inspires the generation to fight for their American Dream. So, should college be free? Education is a treasure among the people who want to persevere and grow, but the high tuition cost and overwhelming student debt stops the learner from reaching the dream. It will be a debate full of remarks from both sides, however, it is that education has become more and more expensive throughout the years. 

Works Cited

  1. Alexander, K., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2001). Schools, achievement, and inequality: A seasonal perspective. Temple University Press.
  2. Cottrill, H. (2019). Should College Be Free? The New York Times Upfront, 151(1), 10–13.
  3. Luebke, B. (2019). Opinion: Free college plans are a bad idea. The Daily Record.
  4. Skwarski, S. (2017). I went to a country where college is free. Here's what I learned about education. Business Insider.
  5. Snyder, H. (2016). Here’s What Bernie Sanders’ Free College Plan Really Means. The Huffington Post.
  6. U.S. Department of Education. (2022). College Affordability and Transparency Center. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from
  7. U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2018). Higher Education: Student Loan Burdens across Income Groups Have Likely Increased over Time.
  8. United States Census Bureau. (2022). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from
  9. Zumeta, W. (2018). The Pros and Cons of Free College. The Century Foundation.
  10. Zumeta, W. (2019). The State of Free College: State-Based Promise Programs Are Growing Rapidly. The Century Foundation.
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A Discussion On Whether College Should Be Free. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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