Why College Should Be Free

College education has been thought of as an elite privilege for those with the opportunities of affording them. The prestige associated with college education ha been in existence since their creation several decades ago. A significant percentage of young individuals who get the privilege to attend colleges can create and establish well-paying careers (Carlson, 2016). The increased prices of college tuition over the past years limit the number of individuals with the ability to attend college. However, large a percentage of potential college students fail to attend colleges as they find the fee significantly high for them to afford. Making college education free for all students would be an effective move to ensure that all the students interested in pursuing college education are supported and provided with the opportunity to pursue various programs at the university levels (Carlson, 2016). However, there is also the thought that making college education free is an unachievable goal. The adverse effects of a free college education could outweigh the benefits. Following the presented suggestions, this paper presents various arguments seeking to determine if college education should be made free or not.

Most students with the potential to attend college and get a good college education to fail to do as college fee is significantly unpredictable.  It consequently becomes significantly challenging to save up for college.  There are various bills that students have to pay to facilitate their stay in college. These bills include room and boarding, books and learning resources, and meal plans. The payments become significantly expensive with the increase in the tuition fee. Most families find college fees significantly expensive and unachievable since the tuition fees have continued to increase over the past few years steadily. Some students with significant potential and high prospects fail to attend college education due to the high amounts of tuition fees. The result is that such students, especially those from poor and humble backgrounds, do not get the chance to achieve their academic and career goals (Perna et al. 2017). Making college education free is an essential step towards ensuring that students from all types of backgrounds, irrespective of their economic capabilities, get the chance to attain a college education.

Various arguments suggest that college education should not be made free and that students should pay tuition fees. Among such arguments suggest that paying the tuition fees instills a sense of maturity and hard work in the students (de Rugy & Salmon, 2019). A student who pays their own tution fee is likely to work harder in class and to attain better grades in comparison to a student who does not pay fee.  A significant percentage of students take loans from their parents and financial institutions to cater to their tuition fees in college (Carlson, 2016).  For most students, these loans present the first grown-up moves. The students would work significantly hard to manage to pay the loans. Students paying the loans exhibit increased hard work and determination to get an educational outcome that matches their hard work in the loan repaying process. For such students, other than getting college degrees, they also learn the value of hard work and getting paying jobs.  The students are reminded of the benefits of spending their time to get the best out of education.

There is the suggestion that students are at an increased probability of staying in class and attending their lesson if they paid for tuition. The same initiative to attend classes and perform the required academic tasks is not applicable if the participants are meant to invest only their time and no monetary value in the education process (Murphy, Scott-Clayton & Wyness, 2017). Providing students with free education makes the students lazy and non-involved in the learning process. Although the college education is focused on enabling the students to find themselves and create elaborate and perfect career paths, students are likely to drop out of some classes o fail to attend some classes if the tuition is free. Dropping out of classes and switching majors constantly reduces the level of discipline associated with the learning process. It also causes adverse effects in the education process of the students following the fact that students could end up staying in college for a significantly longer time than expected.

Another argument opposing free college education suggests that although higher levels of enrollments are experienced in free community colleges, the levels of enrolment do not match the persistent presented by the students to push on through college education towards graduation (Hemesath, 2017). The suggestion points out that success in education is not guaranteed by free college enrollment. In essence, although an increased number of students could enroll for college education, not all of them manage to make it to graduation following the fact that not all can withstand the stamina and persistence required through the academic process (Hemesath, 2017).  Some of the students end up attending college as their parents force them. For such students, there is the fact that most of them end up dropping out in the long run.  The students could also end up getting adverse experiences in the studying process, a factor that could lead to their poor performance. If the students do not have a significant liking for college education, they could end up dropping out and not finishing the entire academic process.

Following the rise in the discussion of the need to implement free college tuition, there is the fact that despite the availability of the benefits that could be achieved from a free college education, the number of adverse effects would out weight the benefits. The operation son the colleges have been similar since the establishment of the colleges. Changing the way they operate would adversely affect the institutions as it would destabilize the status quo. Rather than making college education free for all students, it is necessary that the various students interested in acquiring college education instead take up different initiatives that would enable them to gain an education. This way, there is the fact that that the colleges would continue admitting only the students with the real need of the programs, a factor that would facilitate the generation of increased results. Even in the case that college educations are not free, students with a real interest in college education could still pursue other options, including student aid and various other student loans, to enable then to acquire a college education (Bucarey, 2018). This way, there is the fact that such students will employ high levels of determinations to continue accessing the various student aid programs and student loans. The result is that these students will consequently exhibit significantly top results from the colleges.




Bucarey, A. (2018). Who pays for free college? Crowding out on campus. Job market paper.

Carlson, S. (2016). When college was a public good. The Chronicle of Higher Education63, 15-27.

de Rugy, V., & Salmon, J. (2019). Reevaluating the Effects of Federal Financing in Higher Education. Mercatus Policy Brief, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Arlington, VA.

Hemesath, M. (2017). “Free” college tuition doesn’t add up.

Murphy, R., Scott-Clayton, J., & Wyness, G. (2017). Lessons from the end of free college in England. Evidence Speaks Reports2(13), 1-10.

Perna, L. W., Leigh, E. W., & Carroll, S. (2017). “Free college:” A new and improved state approach to increasing educational attainment?. American Behavioral Scientist61(14), 1740-1756.

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