Someone asked me the question the other day about Community Colleges being tuition free. I have to admit I was caught off guard because I had just come out of the pouring rain .But there was a young lady who told me she was a student at the local community college.I decided to ask her the question( The great escape).She was quiet for a minute and then she said. ” No, I am saying no because I have a three year old son and I work in the morning and take classes at the local college here in the evenings.
I commended her on being a busy single mother who wanted to continue her education even though she had other responsibilities. ” When I look at my son she continued.”I want him to really feel he has accomplished something when he goes to college.” Oh your talking about value, I said.Yes she smiled “I feel if you don’t put anything into it ,you won’t get anything out of it”.She finally said ” The question came up about tuition free community colleges and she didn’t like the idea.
The conversation ended because she was on her way to class and did not want to be late for her first class that started at 4P.M. Later the young woman’s question made me think about the possibility of most Community Colleges being tuition free.
The idea of tuition free college is not a new idea.There are tuition free colleges but they require you put something in to it.For example, one college requires you to stay on campus.Most students must be residents of the college they are attending and some of the Military Colleges require enlistment for active duty after college(http://www.usnews.com/education.
The Community Colleges are the Affordable way for a student to sharpen their learning skills to enter a four year institution.The tuition may be affordable enough with a Pell Grant or scholarship.
Finally,Colleges have expenses.They must pay their staff and for the other operations of the college.Operating totally free may not be feasible and may be impossible.
Colleges can offer discounts,maintain affordable tuition rates and of course offer used textbooks that are the first to go off the shelf : buyback of books in good condition.Most Community Colleges are not free but you can still get a lot of value from a good education!
See you on Campus!
Venney,Carmen(2016) Should Community Colleges have Free Tuition? Walden University: College of Teaching and Learning