Should College Education be Free?


Thesis Statement: the arguments for debt-free education do not only include personal benefits but also elaborate how education can positively impact the society. The benefit of free education is improving the society, widening the workforce, boosting the economy, increasing equality and enabling students to focus more.

Annotated bibliography.

CovertT, B. (2019, December 19). Why Public College Should Be Free. Retrieved from The Nation:

Covert addresses the implication of political candidates in pushing for free education. He presents two sides of the political divide, with some candidates advocating for free college for all and others want it to be free for a certain slice of the population. He also argues for scrapping of the fees since the state spends a lot in education subsidy programs as compared to the total cost college institutions charge students. The article also poses the notion of making public college free instead of allocating money to higher education through taxing, grants, and loans that the wealthy tend to reap the benefits from.

Source evaluation.

2a This source outlines the political support for free education. The source is reliable, as it gives figures on how much is spend on education in a year. It also discusses the pros and cons as to what a free public education can provide for dependent individuals, with financial restrictions.

2b. While the source is not current, it underscores the existing policy and the growing interest if free education across states. It also addresses the limitation of current policies and how states can attain their goals. The article also offers ways how the finances geared towards education can be better allocated to bring forth better outcomes and opportunities for students.

2c. This source is popular, and it shows the effect of free education in relation to economic equality. The impact it can have on the wealthy and the poor families in America.  It also poses how private schools will also be positively affected to lower their educational prices and forced to revamp their programs to make it more economically suitable and pleasing for potential students.

2d. While this source is not scholarly, the author has used facts and figures to support his opinion. This source will support my thesis by analysing financial implication of free college fees. This article will also look at the different classes of families that will be affected through the financial changes if they were to be implemented and enacted into place.


Goldrick-Rab, S., & Kelly, A. P. (2016). Should community college be free? Education next talks with Sara Goldrick-Rab and Andrew P. Kelly. Education Next16(1), 54-61.

The source consists of two sections, “the economy needs more workers with an associate degree” by Goldrick-rab and “Tuition is not the main obstacle to students’ success” by Kelly A.P.. In the paper, Goldrick-Rab advocates for adopting more flexible and expansive efforts, such as covering students’ living and other expenses when pursuing an associate degree at any public institution. In his talk, Kelly A.P argues that the Obama administration’s proposal for tuition-free community college will not cover student success and low rates of college readiness. He argues that the proposal will only lead to an influx in innovation and the straining of public budgets.

2a. this source is not scholarly, but it is a reliable and credible source. The first speaker, Goldrick-Rab, is co-author of a paper that aided in shaping President Obama’s proposal. Kelly is the director of the center on higher education reform; therefore, they have extensive knowledge of the topic. The study has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it has significantly contributed to the discussions regarding free college education.

2b. while the source is not current, it provides information on why the economy requires workers with an associate degree, what difference the associate degree makes, what was not covered by Obama’s plan, and the critic of the Obama plans.

2c. the source strongly supports my thesis of the positive impacts of a free community college education by providing contextual information about the topic. The criticism of Obama’s proposal by Kelly A. forms a framework for developing a counter-argument to represent both sides of my thesis.

2d. the source is popular since its subjects are covered in Obama’s plan. Various popular political figures such as Massachusetts senator and former senator and U.S secretary of state Hillary Clinton have discussed the topic presented by the source.

Grier, D. A. (2016). Free Tuition for Community College: A Role for the Tech Community?. Computer49(7), 80-82.

The Obama administration gave a proposal to introduce new programs that would provide free community college. As part of the debate, there were concerns that community colleges should reduce the number of general education courses. This was entirely because the community college was said to have done a poor job delivering quality teaching of available education courses. As such, Grier argues that the technology community has a vital role in such concerns because it’s a major employer of the labor force that gained their first technical skills at community college. The paper proposes that if the community fails to value elements brought by community colleges, such as improving social interactions, states will adopt other means of organizing higher education for another specific cohort of workers.

2a. The source is scholarly sources. The source is authoritative, credible, and reliable. The author incorporates primary as well as secondary sources to support his ideas and opinions. The author is an expert in the field since he is an associate professor of international science and technology and international affairs at George Washington University.

2b. while the source is not current, it gives insightful information on the role played by the tech community in issues regarding free tuition for community college. The paper argues that the tech community forms a significant part of this discussion because most tech industry workers gained first technical skills at community colleges and it has vested interest in the courses offered by the community colleges.

2c. the source supports my thesis that free education improves the society and widens the workforce, in that, it promotes social interaction and many of the beneficiary of the free community college, end up populating the job markets. For instance, the paper highlights that majority of tech community workers, gained their first technical skills from such institutions.

2d. the paper is popular because its subject is one of the former United States president Barack Obama regime proposals. Notably, the attention that was accorded to the subject by Obama’s administration is rare because the office of the president deals with a lot of different issues and it dedicates its time to them.

Krason, S. M. (2017). What’s Wrong with Guaranteeing a Free College Education?. Catholic Social Science Review22, 395-398.

The article “what’s wrong with Guaranteeing a free college education” by Stephen M. Krason discusses the problems which are associated with guarantying free higher education at state colleges and universities. Kranson argues that free college education creates an entitlement culture which weakens personal responsibility which wont benefit the new generation. The source also argues that free-tuition guarantee will encourage the defaulting on higher education loans, in the long run make the financial burden on the states to be huge. The describes this as an incredible economic drain which shouldn’t be a priority, because according to Kranson, higher education is hardly a necessity (Kranson, 2017, P.395). The article gives an insight of how free education may lead to corporate welfare, overcredentialism, and it would further increase advantages of public higher education over the private.

2a. The source highlights insightful and rational discussion on the problems that may arise form guarantying free education at state colleges and university. While the opinions expressed in the paper are sound and rational, their credibility and reliability are compromised by lack of citation where the author got such information. Notably, some factual data is not cited in the source.

2b. while the source is not current, it gives the negative outcomes which might arise from free college education programs by states. Some of the problems identified in the paper include but not limited to overcredentilism, financial burden to the states, increases education loans defaulting, and might lead to corporate welfare.

2c. the source is not scholarly, and the author have not used secondary sources to support his opinions. Nevertheless, the source relates to my thesis in that, it will help to develop the counter-argument, to cover the both sides of my thesis, with an objective to make the research more persuasive.. The sources also help to understanding and developing the cons of free education programs sections.

2d. The source is popular for the version of idea discussed in the paper, was embrace by Democratic party in 2016. The ideas discussed were promoted by senator Bernie Sanders in his 2016 campaign for democratic presidential nomination. Notably, the issues covered are expected to be political issue in the United State.

Perna, L. W., Leigh, E. W., & Carroll, S. (2017). “Free college:” A new and improved state approach to increasing educational attainment?. American Behavioral Scientist61(14), 1740-1756.

Perma et al. assesses how state free tuition programs may increase attainment, improve affordability, and seal the differences across various groups in entertainment. As such, the paper gives a description of the recent initiatives in states of New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. The source gives an insight of the role played by state policy in enhancing attainment, emphasizing particularly the higher education finance policies. The researchers argue that free tuition programs may encourage college enrollement for people who would not otherwise enrolled, may encourage college students to use the available state or federal grants and they encourage attendance to community colleges (Permal et al. 2017, 1752-53). The paper also establishes that college attainment and affordability is improved by the state-sponsored free tuition programs by offering a new approach.

2a. The paper discusses ‘free college’ as a new approach which can be adopted by the state to improve college affordability and attainment. The source reliable, as its analysis for how  free higher education finance policies are similar to and different from other state are backed with actual statistics regarding each state’s average financial assistance per capita by state, between 2014-2015.

2b. while the source is not current, it gives a comprehensive discussion of how state free tuition programs may increase attainment, bridge the gap between groups in attainment, and improve affordability. The paper discusses the recent incentives by New York, Tennessee, and Oregon emphasizing on the higher education policies as the case study. It establishes that state/federal-sponsored free tuition programs gives a new approach in improving the attainment and affordability among college students.

2c. The source strongly supports my thesis that free education have positive impacts to the society because, such programs encourages college enrolment among individuals who have otherwise not enrolled and encourages enrolment to community colleges. The source will help to comprehend how free education finance policies might help to improve equality and economy.

2d. the source is popular as it shows how state free tuition programs might increase attainment, bridge the gap across groups in attainment, and improve college affordability. The source have been referenced and cited as a reliable and credible source by various scholars.



CovertT, B. (2019, December 19). Why Public College Should Be Free. Retrieved from The Nation:


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