Should a Community College Education (2-Year Degree) be Free?


The question of whether a community college education, which is usually a two-year degree program, should be free has been given much attention in recent years. Proponents support that providing tuition-free community college education can be instrumental in increasing access to higher education, reducing student debt, and enhancing economic growth. However, opposers point to the high costs and sustainability of such a program. This essay explores the arguments for both sides of this argument, ultimately asserting that a free community college education has the potential to promote equity in accessing education with the benefits enjoyed by individuals and society as a whole.


Most proposers of freecommunity college education support it because of its potential to increase accessibility to college education and reduce barriers to entry. This is important in the view that many students, especially those from low-income families have struggled to pay their tuition fees. Therefore, by making these studies free, accessibility to higher education can be broadened to those who might have failed to get higher education due to financial constraints. The benefit of this expanded access is the rise of a more educated and skilled workforce, which can benefit the community in many ways. In addition, it can allow students to get educated, develop marketable skills, and improve their job prospects without incurring debts in the form of student loans, which can hinder most students from pursuing further education Mountjoy (2022).

Another important reason for encouraging free community college education is that it has the potential to benefit the economy and social welfare of the people. Epstein (2021) notes that a well-educated workforce plays an important role in promoting the growth and competitiveness of the nation. By ensuring free access to community colleges, more people can get the knowledge and skills essential to securing higher-paying jobs, which can contribute to economic development. In addition, free community college education can be used as a way of addressing the issues of income inequality empowering individuals to get higher-paying jobs despite their socioeconomic background.


In conclusion, the debate over whether community college education should be free lies in its ability to expand accessibility, reduce barriers, and bring about economic and social benefits. Although, critics may point to concerns about the cost of such a program, both the individual and the community stand to benefit a great deal from such programs. For example, it can help in developing a better-educated workforce, foster economic growth, and promote social equity.


Epstein, R. A. (2021). College Isn’t Free–Nor Should It Be: Wiping out student debt would involve staggering costs and unfair taxation. Worse, loan forgiveness would violate the principle of making degrees pay for themselves. Hoover Digest, (2), 72-77.

Mountjoy, J. (2022). Community colleges and upward mobility. American Economic Review112(8), 2580-2630.

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