Free College Tuition: Why Free Education Would Harm Society

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What would life be like if everyone was given the opportunity to attend college for free? In “Free College Is a Terrible Idea” (Rosenberg, 2019), the article states that inequality would worsen, graduation rates would remain low or decrease even lower, public resources would be used inefficiently, and colleges would become more selective. All of these side effects are nega-tively associated with free college. Free collegiate education would harm society because de-grees would be devalued, finding a job will be almost unattainable, and there would be a drastic increase in taxes.

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Free college, when all high school graduates are offered free tuition by at least one uni-versity, is a highly debated issue in today’s society. Vicki E. Alger (2016) in the Independent arti-cle establishes that the price of college might not be money, but it will still cost people higher tax-es and degraded degrees. Alger argues that the degree will be diluted because the education is not paid for. Similarly to free medical care in other countries, Massachusetts Nurse (1999) article addresses that patients who receive free medical care in other countries have to wait for months to be treated and end up getting horrible care. In contrast, the medical care that we pay for in the United States provides patients immediate treatment and trust in the doctors they have chosen, proving there is value when you pay for something. Also, the students attending college will not value their education as much as they would if they were paying for it. Again in “Free College Is a Terrible Idea” (2019), Rosenberg notes that over half of the percent of students who attend a free university would not receive their degree. With Rosenberg’s statement, he proved that stu-dents who are given their education for free will not have have motivation to finish. If a student is required to pay for their own education, then they are more likely to have the determination to complete their degree.

Ultimately, since everyone will go to college to receive their free degree, there will be im-mense, national competition to find a job later in life. With both a diluted degree and extreme com-petition, free college would have been a total waste of time. Companies will still always choose to hire the advanced, higher educated interviewee. Even though everyone will receive an elevated education, the people who went to the more prestigious universities will be hired first. Would you rather higher the University of Texas Business graduate or the Midland College business gradu-ate? The obvious answer is the University of Texas graduate because it is a celebrated universi-ty, it is known for setting higher standards, and only the smartest people in the nation can suc-ceed in finishing a degree there.

Taxes will severely rise if free tuition is instituted. The biggest factor that people forget about when debating free college is that someone will still have to pay for it. Professors, security guards, building maintenance, new construction, keeping the campus appealing, and more all have to be paid for by someone. In “Assessing the True Costs of Free College” (2018), Tim Go-ral claims that a free college tuition will be paid by either public or private capital. Goral also de-clares that money spent on free tuition could be used for completion rates that would better soci-ety. Many people go to college not expecting it to cost them thousands and thousands of dollars, forcing them to drop out without receiving their diploma. They would have waisted a lot of pre-cious time and money on nothing. Although lower income people would be able to get a college degree, they would have to move near their university causing them to still have to pay for hous-ing, food, transportation, and more.

Free college is when the government or charity organizations fund college instead of people having to pay for it themselves. I challenge you to pay for your college tuition yourself. You will find more worth in your degree and be proud of your success. Free college may seem good for you since it would mend inequities from the past and it would be free to follow your dreams, but the consequences far outweigh the positives. Your degree would deflate, finding a job would be almost impossible, and your taxes would drastically increase all due to the fact that you received free college tuition.


  1. Goral, Tim. “Assessing the True Costs of Free College.” University Business, vol. 21, no. 8, Aug. 2018, p. 16. EBSCOhost,
  2. Potter, Will. “Alabama Voters to Decide on Scholarship Plan Tied to Tax Increase.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 50, no. 2, 5 Sept. 2003, p. A29. EBSCOhost,
  3. Rosenberg, Brian. “Free Public College Is a Terrible Idea.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 66, no. 3, 20 Sept. 2019, p. N.PAG. EBSCOhost,
  4. “Independent Institute in the News.” Independent, vol. 26, no. 2, Summer 2016, p. 4. EBSCO-host,
  5. “WHO Issues Report Critical of Free Market Health Care.” Massachusetts Nurse, vol. 69, no. 9, Oct. 1999, p. 9. EBSCOhost, 

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