Free College Tuition

Frannie Leonard

Free college tuition has been such a hot topic in the news lately especially with presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.  People have been debating whether free college tuition should exist and if it would help or hurt society.  As a society we need free college tuition so every person can have the opportunity to build their human capital.  Human capital is defined by Charles Wheelan as, “Human capital is the sum total of skills embodied within an individual: education, intelligence, charisma, creativity, work experience, entrepreneurial vigor, even the ability to throw a baseball fast.”[1]  What the author is saying is human capital is necessary for success out in the world.  There are many parts of human capital, but one of the most important parts is education.  It used to be a high school education is all one needed.[2]  That is why we have public K-12.  Now people need to have higher education to continue to succeed in life.  Everyone has the potential to have high human capital but without college today, one cannot achieve a high level of human capital.

In America today we have a huge income inequality issue. The top .1% on average earns more than 6 million dollars a year.  The bottom 90% earns on average 35 thousand dollars a year.   College tuition can cost anywhere from 20,000 dollars to 60,000 dollars.[3] This proves the average American cannot afford college tuition.  The government has made something called student loans for people who cannot afford college but wish to attend.  This seems like a perfect solution but it is not.  The average student debt from the class of 2016 is 37,127 dollars.[4]  To some people this may seem like pocket change but to some it is a huge amount of money.  Once a student is graduated the have a very large sum of money to pay back while they are trying to work to keep their apartment, car, and other necessities on might need.

The best solution to fix one not being able to build human capital and staying out of student debt is free college tuition.  If business are going to make it so difficult for people to get a job without a college degree then we need to make graduating college an obtainable goal.  Going to college does not only strengthen ones education, it also helps improves ones confidence and give them life experiences to prepare them for the real world.  All of these factors help improve one’s human capital.  Education is so important in the creation of human capital so it needs to be available to all.

students not costumers[5]

[1]  Charles Wheelan, naked economics Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 127.

[2]  Max Page, “It’s time to push for free college,” national education association, June 21, 2016,

[3]  Marc Priester, “Income Inequality,” Income inequality, June 21, 2016,

[4]  Andrew Josuweit, “A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2016,” Student loan hero, June 22, 2016, URL.

[5] Elan Axelbank, “Free college tuition”, June 22, 2016.

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