February 28, 2024


education gives you strength

The High Cost of a Free College Education


Barbara Kelley

American colleges and universities will experience greater demand for lower tuition rates in the years ahead, as the coronavirus reshapes the U.S. higher-education system and more students access learning online.

Nonetheless, I respectfully disagree with Daniel Pianko’s assertion that the winning university of the future will be the one that drops its tuition rates the lowest, simply because many students value the on-campus college experience—and are willing to pay for it after the pandemic subsides (“Free Market Can Deliver Free College,” op-ed, Sept. 22).

Meanwhile, remarkable lectures, several from the nation’s top schools, are available on YouTube free of charge.

Alexander J. Bortone

Pensacola, Fla.

Fundamentally, education cannot be free. The time and energy required in education and the associated opportunity costs of lost income or leisure make it impossible for someone to obtain a free education. Indeed, these opportunity costs can be substantially high relative to the nominal tuitions at many state colleges and universities.

Prof. Oscar Varela

University of Texas at El Paso

El Paso, Texas

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Appeared in the September 28, 2020, print edition.

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