The Myth of ‘Free’ Tuition

Yesterday 2016 Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would eliminate college tuition for undergrads at all four year colleges and universities. It is called the “College For All Act,” reports USA Today.

There are a number of problems with this bill. First of all, despite what Sanders would like you to believe this isn’t going to make college free. It’s simply going to transfer the bill to somebody else.

I don’t remember much from my high school economics class, but there are a few things I do remember. One of those things is that nothing is really free. TANSTAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Somebody is paying the bill. Maybe you don’t have to pay the bill, so you think of it as “free,” but somebody is paying for that.

So who would be footing the bill for these college students if Bernie Sanders gets his way? According to USA Today, “Under the plan, the Federal Government would cover 67% — $47 billion dollars each year — of the costs. States would be required to produce the remaining 33% of the costs, or 23 billion dollars.”

So basically the government would be subsidizing college educations, and the American taxpayer would be footing the bill. The government does not need to be subsidizing college education. You do not have a right to a college education. You want a college degree? Get out there and earn it like the rest of us! Can’t afford it? Get a job and get a second job if you have to.

Don’t give me some whiny excuse that you can’t go to school and work at the same time. Yes, you can. I do it. I worked two part-time jobs for over a year, while taking classes full time. Then I was given an opportunity for a full-time job, which I took, and I now work full-time and go to school full-time. Is it easy? No. Is it possible yes!

Quit whining about your lack of social life, or how you never get to see your friends! That’s kind of how it goes in college. I have sacrificed my social life, and a lot of time hanging out with friends, or just time by myself to chill out, because I had to work or study. It’s called a short-term sacrifice for a long-term payoff! If you want it bad enough you will find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse.

Secondly, if you want a college education, you shouldn’t expect someone else to pay for it. You pay for what you want, whether in money, time, sweat, etc. Now if you’re fortunate enough to have your parents pay for it, or at least pay for part of it then that’s great! You shouldn’t expect the American taxpayer to foot your bill.

Most colleges offer scholarships which you can apply for as well. Generally you have to earn those scholarships in some form, either by keeping your grades up or writing an essay. Yes, that’s hard and it take work, but a scholarship is like a reward.

My parents always told me that I have to want it as much as they want it for me. I do. That is why I work. People have enough to pay for, paying off their own student loans, paying other taxes, and providing for their families. Many are probably trying to save to help their own children go to college. They shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s kid to go too!

Thirdly, by making college “free” then you are going to have almost everybody going to college, especially those that don’t know what to do with themselves when they get out of high school, and that is almost everyone. They don’t know what to do, all their friends are going, so why wouldn’t they go, it’s not costing them anything.

The value of a college degree is already being undermined and this is only going to further devalue it. How? Because you’re going to have a lot of students who don’t really have the desire to be there, and they’re only going to do enough work to pass the class, yet they’re going to get the same diploma as someone who put in the work and got an A in most of their classes.

Overall, this is a bad idea as it will further devalue a college degree, burden the American taxpayer, and only do harm not good to the character of the recipients of the “free” college tuition. This is just another example of government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.