According to the organization the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, and it was $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
According to CNBC, more than 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for school, and their debt totals $1.4 trillion. The average debt for 20-year-olds is $22,135, and for 30-year-olds, it’s $34,033, and will increase.
This is a disaster.
Sources state that there are several countries where college tuition is free or virtually free. The writer of this blog post was able to study in Germany, and tuition was indeed almost free. (At the time, there was a fee of around 70 Deutschmarks a semester.)
Tuition costs in France are not free, but they are very inexpensive. Studyineurope.eu reports that bachelor’s programs cost 189.10 EUR per year (roughly $224), and engineering degrees have a tuition fee of 615.10 EUR per academic year (or about $729).
CNBC writes that the total cost of tuition for a degree at a public university in the U.S. could be $250,000 eighteen years from now.
America is no stranger to the concept of free tuition, because public high schools are free.
Where would the money come from?
As it so happens, the website The Intercept reports that the recent increase in the military budget alone is enough to pay for free college.
On September 18th, the U.S. Senate approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, to $700 billion for the year 2018. However, USA Today estimates that the tuition costs at all 4-year colleges and universities is roughly $70 billion a year, which is less than the increase in defense spending.
Bernie Sanders issues bill to make 4-year colleges tuition-free