Free tuition colleges enable students from the middle class and the poor to get a quality education without having to carry the financial burden of a loan.  Not only does the loan create stress for the student and their family, it also has adverse effects on our nation’s economy.  Even the most successful college graduates, who carry debt, postpone opening a business, buying their home, getting married and starting a family.  The average loan balance of college graduates is $37,172, and some students may owe even more.

While some graduates have the resources to pay for their loan in a timely manner, others struggle to find gainful employment in this highly competitive job market.  Even those who find good jobs face challenges paying for basic expenses such as rent, food, transportation and clothes.  According to the Financial Times, 8 million students default on their loan.  For these reasons and many others, we need more tuition free colleges.  Unfortunately, the majority of students do not attend tuition free colleges nor will they receive scholarships or grants that will cover the full cost of their tuition.

Throughout their college years, students always worry about how they will pay back their loan.  At graduation, that impending worry becomes a reality.  Thanks to the generosity of Robert F. Smith, Morehouse’s College Class of 2019 will not have to carry debt as graduates.  During his commencement speech, Smith, who is a billionaire and Chairman of CEO of Vista Equity Partners, said that he and his family will start a fund to pay for all of the college loans of all of Morehouse’s 396 graduates.  Tuition and other expenses at Morehouse College are approximately $48,000 per year for a single student.

College debt is a crisis that our country is currently facing.  Do you think that America’s needy students should have a college debt when they live in one of the richest nations in the world?  The good news is that there are at least 25 colleges that offer free tuition for middle class and underprivileged students.  Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford are included on the list.  The bad news is that all students are not qualified to get into these tuition free colleges.  These tuition free colleges may not offer the ideal programs that fit the needs, interests and abilities of all students.  We need more tuition free colleges that have more varied curriculum,that includes every field of study, so that every financially struggling student can attend one of these tuition free institutions and thrive. Ever since 2005, Kalamazoo, Michigan has been offering students, of all ability levels, free tuition at

College debt is a crisis that our country is currently facing.  Do you think that America’s needy students should have a college debt when they live in one of the richest nations in the world?  The good news is that there are at least 25 colleges that offer free tuition for middle class and underprivileged students.  Ivy league universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford are included on the list.  The bad news is that all students are not qualified to get into these tuition free colleges.  These tuition free colleges may not offer the ideal programs that fit the needs, interests and abilities of all students.  We need more tuition free colleges that have more varied curriculum, that includes every field of study, so that every financially struggling student can attend one of these tuition free institutions and thrive.

Ever since 2005, Kalamazoo, Michigan has been offering students, of all ability levels, free tuition at community colleges and technical schools.  Many other states have gotten on the bandwagon and modeled the Kalamazoo Promise.  In order to get students ready for on demand jobs, some states are only giving free tuition to students that study majors that are much more employable than others.  In Kentucky, the program Work Ready, only offers free tuition to students who study health care, transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, construction, business services and information technology.

Across our nation, tuition free colleges are helping more students, who do not come from privileged backgrounds, get into college and graduate.  Tennessee has offered tuition free colleges to students since 2005.  More than 33,000 Tennesseans have attended college free.  By the year 2025, Tennessee’s goal is that 55 percent of Tennesseans will have a degree or certificate.

There are many reasons to support tuition free colleges.  Educated employees can offer much more to employers than those who are not educated.  Eliminating college debt will strengthen the US economy.  Without college debt, the most successful college graduates and those who are financially stable will make many contributions to the US economy.

A student that does not have adequate financial resources should not end their dream of attending college. If a bright student is given the chance to attend college, that student may be able to help their community with the knowledge that they can only get from a college education.  Can you imagine all the ways in which they will transform society once they get a high quality education?  Maybe one of those college graduates, who came from a humble background, becomes the doctor who finds the cure to diseases like AIDS and cancer.  One of those graduates may acquire the scientific means to solve the world’s energy crisis.  Losing a potential genius is one mistake that we cannot afford to make, so we should invest more in tuition free colleges and the dividends will be priceless.