Should College Tuition Be Free

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Should College Tuition Be Free?

College tuition fee in any country is always expensive, and this has been discussed for a long time with no conclusive decision towards its reduction. According to Johnstone (2013), this is as he states that college education is a complex topic as some individuals see it as a luxury and therefore have to be paid for high amounts of money. Tuition fee is any amount of money paid for instruction in a college, university, or even high school and elementary education. However, in this case, the focus is on the tuition fees at the university level. College tuition fees have gone too high in the united states, which is an integral part of the economy to discuss since not every parent can afford to pay that much. According to student opinion in New York Times article, the average cost of public tuition fee is $10,000 per year. This has continued to grow with time, and it has become a big concern. Therefore, this paper focuses on the issue of college fees becoming too high and the possibility of having free college tuition education.

Firstly it is essential to understand the history of education in the United States before discussing the reasons behind the high amount of tuition fees currently being experienced. The first university to be established was the New College (now Harvard University) which the colonists established from Europe in 1636. From then on, colleges began being formed, and most of them were free, or minimal amounts of money were being paid. There were also no elementary schools, which meant that students could join the university at the age of 14 or 15. However, from that time, there was also a different kind of education which was an apprenticeship, and people argued that the role of education was just a social marker rather than a necessity for a person to be able to do something, and that was true. Admission was based on religion, gender, and other factors that determined what a person studied. Most of these were free since religious institutions majorly ran the universities. They desired to form upright individuals who could carry on their faith with a bright mind bring onboard other members.

Therefore from the start of education within the United States, it was free. Even though records of one-time tuition fee payment were not available, in 1908, Brown University published the cost of college, which, when accumulated, came to around $393 per year, equivalent to $9,535.67 in 2012 US dollars. This was a very high amount, and therefore this can be stated to be the beginning of the rise of college tuition fees in an abnormal manner (Johnstone, 241). The primary reasons why college school fees are getting expensive day after day is that states are funding less the universities, there is a high number of incoming students to the colleges, colleges are expanding offerings, and the college executives are paid lots of money in their salaries.

Some individuals, especially parents who are finding it very difficult to sustain their children in the colleges, wish that college tuition fees were free. There have been different efforts and pleas for this to happen, and it is becoming a political issue. According to the learning network student opinion, New Mexico State announced on September 18th, 2019, that they were to have a free college education. This meant that the tuition fee was scraped off, and the students who were residents of that particular state could study free of charge. However, many people criticized this move saying that it was a move to make the parents who are very able to pay unable to pay and thus misusing the citizens’ taxes. A more efficient way was suggested whereby the neediest individuals could be given scholarships and grants instead of making education accessible for everyone. Even though it is true that college tuition fee is too high, there is a lot of politics surrounding the whole issue, and it is difficult to grasp the many issues at hand fully.

Some of the reasons why college tuition fees should not be lowered are that some argue that the instructors need to be paid well to train the students properly. This is true since the basic salary of a college instructor is $43,000 and can go up to $154,000. This means that most of the money goes into salaries. Another reason those who do not wish tuition fees to be reduced is that school needs maintenance, and this maintenance can only be done when school fees are appropriately paid (Canton et al, 70). The other reason is that some individuals state that an American school should not be like a local school that is affordable. This means that they do not wish to have other people around since American schools should only house Americans. However, on the other hand, tuition fees should be low or scrapped off because many reasons support free college education.

Firstly, parents struggle a lot to pay for school fees, especially for parents who do not have a lot of money or do not make a high amount of money in their works. Focusing on this and looking at the parents’ situation, it is worth it to have a free college education or rather one whereby the tuition fees are scrapped off and the other items left for the parent to pay. Some parents even go to the extent of getting involved in college business-like drug dealing with paying school fees for their kids since they promised them to do anything to have a good life.

The other reason why college tuition fees should be scrapped off is that some parents pay quickly than others and this lack of balance makes life difficult for some people in the society while making it easy for them. Even though no one is fully responsible for this natural imbalance, those at the lower bottom should be supported, and college tuition fees are made accessible. The other reason is that social balance does not exist, which is an essential aspect of social equity and equality. Therefore, anyone who qualifies for college should have a chance to join college without being restricted by their parent’s financial status. This lack of social balance and equity might even lead to hatred towards the rich, which can escalate and lead to a revolution when the gap between the poor and the rich grows too big.

In conclusion, the American school system has a very high tuition fee. This should be scrapped off like new Mexico did. Even if not for everyone, those who qualify for a college education should not miss it because of their financial status. It is a good suggestion that college tuition fees be scrapped off, making college tuition-free and better the lives of those American citizens who cannot afford the high amounts of money being paid. Even though there are complaints about taxes going up, the government can develop a way to work around the whole issue and make sure that the needs of its people are taken care of.

Works Cited

‌ “COMMENTARY: Tuition-Free College Is Critical to Our Economy.” EdSource,

“History of College Education –” College Education,

Canton, Erik, and Hans Vossensteyn. “Deregulation of higher education: tuition fee differentiation and selectivity in the US.” CPB and CHEPS, Higher Education Reform, Getting the Incentives Right (2001): 67-84.

Johnstone, D. Bruce. “Tuition fees, student loans, and other manifestations of cost-sharing: Variations and misconceptions.” The Forefront of International Higher Education. Springer, Dordrecht, 2014. 235-244.

Millon, Jaelyn. “Free Tuition in Higher Education.” Journal of the Student Personnel Association at Indiana University (2021).

The Learning Network. “Should College Be Free?” The New York Times, September 20th, 2019,

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