The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Free College Tuition

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 522 times Debate No: 90384
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




"Middle-class [students] are dropping out of college at higher rates than ever before. So helping middle-class kids " is not a bad thing."
says Sara Goldrick-Rab, a University of Wisconsin professor, In an article in the Star Tribune called Who Benefits the most from "free" college tuition?
Maura Lerner Star Tribune, January 29, 2015 at 9:31 AM. Web. February 8,2016 at 5:12 PM.

It is because I agree with the words of Sara Goldrick-Rab that we Stand on the Pro Side of today"s resolution.

Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.

In order to better understand my position in regards to today"s debate, we offer the following three contentions.

Contention 1:Associate's degrees can increase lifetime earnings

Written By Jennifer Cheeseman Day, And Eric C. Newburger, in their article The Big Payoff:Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work Life Earning,written on February 3,2015

Day, Jennifer Cheeseman., and Eric C. Newburger. The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-life Earnings. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census, 2002. 2002. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

Synthetic estimates of work-life earnings dramatically illustrate the differences that develop between workers of different educational levels over the course of their working lives.As shown in Figure 3, for full-time, year-round workers, the 40-year synthetic earnings estimates are about $1.0 million (in 1999 dollars) for high school dropouts, while completing high school would increase earnings by another quartermillion dollars (to$1.2 million). People who attended some college (but did not earn a degree) might expect work-life earnings of about $1.5 million, and slightly more for people with associate's degrees ($1.6 million). Over a work-life, individuals who have a bachelor"s degree would earn on average $2.1 million " about one- third more than workers who did not finish college, and nearly twice as much as workers with only a high school diploma. A master"s degree holder tops a bachelor"s degree holder at $2.5 million. Doctoral ($3.4 million) and professional degree holders ($4.4 million) do even better

With degrees to increase earnings, more people will benifit, from free tuition. Therefore causing America in general to become richer and well better off.

Contention 2: Free Community college will help increase diversity on campus.

Turck, Mary. An Author for Al Jazeera. In her article "Obama"s free tuition proposal advances equality of opportunity." Written on Feb. 6, 2015.

"Critics also argue that Obama"s proposal would subsidize middle-class students who can afford to pay for tuition. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. First, getting more middle-income students into community colleges will diversify the student bodies. Economic and racial integration produces better education for all students. The increase in enrollments at community colleges of middle-class students, who are likely to transfer to four-year institutions, would increase pressure to improve the academic quality of education in the two-year programs. Improving academic offerings in community colleges would increase the chances of all students to transfer to and succeed in four-year institutions."

With more diversity on campus students will learn that diversity isn"t a bad thing, and this will improve problems such as discrimination. So for this reason my partner and I agree that there should be free college tuition.

Contention 3: Most young adults have no college education
Steinberg, Sarah A. An author for"America's 10 Million Unemployed Youth Spell Danger for Future Economic Growth." Written on June 5, 2013.

Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress, 5 June 2013. Web.

"The majority of these disconnected young adults do not have a college education. Nearly 1 million have not graduated from high school, while 1.9 million have a high school diploma. Another 790,000 have dropped out of college without gaining a degree, which places these young adults in a perilous financial situation if they took out student loans to pay for their education"researchers have found that borrowers who drop out of college are four times more likely than graduates to default on their student loans. "

If we make college free, more students will have the ability to complete college and there will be more graduates.

It is for these reasons that I urge a Pro vote today

Thank you for your time.


I dutifully accept this debate, and wish my academic adversary the best of luck.

(1) Free college would be too expensive.

(1a) Fiscally speaking, free college would be a burden to bear for all American taxpayers. In fact, estimates and economical calculations have come to conclude that student loan debt relief would cost the federal government $22 billion alone. A staunch supporter of the idea of free college, Bernie Sanders, seems to have convinced many young students that his economic policies are stable. But it is quite the contrary. Sanders' plans are estimated to raise the debt ceiling to $36.9 trillion over a span of ten years.

(2) Free college is immoral.

(2a) It may seem ironic that giving American students free college is ironic, but it really is not when broken down. Simply put: stealing the money of a working American who *earned* their money just to distribute it to a subsidized education system that is barely affordable to the government is heinous and incredibly rights-infringing. Why should the average American taxpayer have to risk not only their own -- but their whole country's -- financial and economic stability so some American college students can go to school free of debt and burden?

(2b) Free college would give more of a sense of entitlement to the many already entitled millennials who use college campuses to create 'safe zone' bubbles of Cultural Marxism and political/economic ignorance. There is reason to believe that by expanding on free college, many millions of these free college liberals would continue flooding dorms and obscuring the First Amendment rights of students and guest speakers.



I wish my opponent luck, once again.
Debate Round No. 1


First I would like to offer up a value of equality.

For my rebuttal-

For my opponent's contention 1-
They have stated that free collage would be too expensive. But I would like to point out that my first contention stated That associates degrees inserts Lifetime earnings. So the point I am making here, Is that If we can put a generation through college for free, then they will be able to help fund future generations through college too.

For my opponent's second contention-
They stated that free college would be immoral. That it creates cultural Marxism. that it obscures our first ammendment rights.

I don't see how any of these statements are true. I would also like to ask my opponent if the think that the American Public Education System is Immoral, just because there is no direct tuition involved. How is something Immoral because you are not directly paying for it?

Also with my opponent stating that Free college is Immoral does this make the equality that it causes immoral? Does this make education Immoral? What exactly is Immoral about free college, What is immoral about diversity, and Learning?

Since I fail to see how this argument even applies to the resolution I would like my opponent to respond to these questions in their next speech.

1. Immorality of free education????
2. By saying that college shouldn't be free, You are denying the possibility of a better future to thousands of Students. What do you have to say about that.
3. Would you be willing to fund even one generation to go through college, so that they can fund the next generation and so on. Eventually someone that you know could benefit from this.


Many of my arguments have confused Pro, I will therefore take the time to clarify my points by answering their questions.

1. Yes, "free" education is immoral. Because the people funding it are not the students enjoying it, the people funding it are the taxpayers of this country who are spending tired hours labor to help raise their families in proper conditions. The solution to fixing the economic crisis we are currently undergoing is not to pile more taxes on the people and force them to fund the free education of others, it's actually immoral. What's yours is yours and what's mine is mine, that's the prospect of capitalism. The government shouldn't be allowed to say, "you're funding a strangers college or paying fines and possibly going to jail or 'tax evasion'" and have that not even remotely be classified as theft!

2. Uhm, no, I'm not. I myself am a college student as of now and I do not deny anyone anything. People need to take personal responsibility for their own ambitions, not live off of big government and other peoples' money. I am not responsible for a stranger's life, nor should I have to be in any circumstance. Any charitable act should be voluntary, otherwise it is just forced and loses its meaning.

3. No, I wouldn't. Because, again, even if I did contribute tax dollars to fund "just one" generation of college students, that money would go towards the destruction of the American economy. Again, I refer both Pro and potential voters to the article which clearly states the government would need to spend $22 billion ending student debt, and that is too expensive for us to splurging that money on right now. We need towards making college affordable, not free.
Debate Round No. 2


Use this round as more of a summary*

I would like to offer the following reasons about why I believe that I have won this debate.

1. My opponent didn't attack a single one of my contentions. They also ignored my value of equality. And since silence is compliance my opponent must agree with me.

2. Think about an America, in let's say 10 years. With free college, more people will be able to move on and get higher degrees, and make more money, therefore being able to fund future generations. We CANNOT DENY the right to education to these students.

3. It is immoral NOT to have free college. We need to offer everyone this. Students who thought it was over after high school would have the chance to a higher education.

4. I believe my opponent is using a logical fallacy. The are using the fallacy of appeal to tradition. They have said that is immoral for people who had to pay for college, to have to pay for others.
Things change. Think about the possibility's available to students who wouldn't have gone to college.

Voters- Thank you for reading this debate and I request your vote today.
Opponent- Thank you for debating me. Good Debate.


Libertarian_Jacquelyn forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by tejretics 5 months ago
== RFD ==

(1) Resolutional analysis

The resolution states, "In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college"

Normative resolution, so I'm presuming shared burdens of persuasion - in other words, I expect offense from both sides. The usage of the word "should" indicates that calculations of what is, on balance, desirable as the lens to analyze this debate. As such, Pro's burden lies in persuading the judge that guaranteeing two years of free tuition to a community or technical college for students is desirable for the United States; Con's burden lies in persuasion of the idea that this plan would be, on balance, undesirable for the United States.

(2) Pro's arguments

Pro's arguments are that (1) free college tuition ("FCT") encourages associate degrees, which are helpful for the future earnings of students (not clear warrant on the former link, but strong justification for the latter); (2) FCT allows students from diverse backgrounds to join colleges, which encourages openness and reduces discrimination (no explanation on how this would make students believe that diversity isn't a bad thing; meager impact of justice only); and (3) FCT makes graduation easier, which allows for welfare of students in gaining college degrees (good warrants, but could have been strengthened by arguing productivity).

Con drops all of Pro's contentions, so all of the impacts are easily extended. This means Pro is getting at least one clear impact, that overall student welfare is enhanced by FCT by two separate means (easier graduation and college degrees; benefits of associate degrees). The third, smaller, impact is from expanding justice - which could have been expanded on, but still remains as a coherent impact.
Posted by tejretics 5 months ago
(3) Con's arguments

Con's interpretation of the debate is wrong. The debate is about FCT, but Con interprets the debate to be about "free college." This is an incorrect interpretation of the resolution, which essentially negates all of Con's statistics. Pro isn't arguing for a free college education, Pro is arguing for two years of free tuition. So Con doesn't have quantified impacts - but Con still has some level of impact. Pro concedes the premise that taxpayers will pay for FCT.

Essentially, Pro completely misinterprets Con's argument from justice. Con essentially argues that redistribution itself is inherently unjust. Pro doesn't directly respond to this at all, instead trying to compare the benefits of FCT, failing to explain how the benefits outweigh the harms.

Regardless, Pro wins this debate, mainly because the default analysis I'm placing is a cost-benefit analysis. Con doesn't show any *harms* of redistribution except injustice, which I don't weigh as that important without clear elucidation on that. In contrast, Pro has some actual benefits of FCT explained, which are completely dropped by Con. The benefits to students outweigh whatever injustice is caused by redistribution (which is the only harm from the "costs" argument as well).

Pro vote.
Posted by Ubermensch-Tsoa 5 months ago
Why focus on college when the the foundation (k-12) school systems are so broke? Education should not be ran by the Government. Claiming college shouldn't be free, in my mind, creates the burden of justifying the current educational structures that lead to College. Ask a historian about the current history classes taught in the US and see if they dont cringe and dont get me started about this new math system.
Posted by SirMaximus 5 months ago
College shouldn't be free. TANSTAAFL.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 5 months ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments; conduct - Pro wins conduct due to Con's forfeit.