The Argument for Tuition-Free College

Soaring tuitions and student loan debt are placing higher education beyond the reach of many American students. It’s time to make college free and accessible to all.

by Keith Ellison

April 14, 2016



In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Land Grant College Act into law, laying the groundwork for the largest system of publicly funded universities in the world. Some of America's greatest colleges, including the University of Minnesota, were created by federal land grants, and were known as "democracy's colleges" or "people's colleges."

But that vision of a "people's college" seems awfully remote to a growing number of American students crushed under soaring tuitions and mounting debt. One hundred and fifty years after Lincoln made his pledge, it's time to make public colleges and universities free for every American.

This idea is easier than it looks. For most of our nation's history, public colleges and universities have been much more affordable than they are today, with lower tuition, and financial aid that covered a much larger portion of the costs . The first step in making college accessible again, and returning to an education system that serves every American, is addressing the student loan debt crisis.

The cost of attending a four-year college has increased by 1,122 percent since 1978 . Galloping tuition hikes have made attending college more expensive today than at any point in U.S. history. At the same time, debt from student loans has become the largest form of personal debt in America-bigger than credit card debt and auto loans. Last year, 38 million American students owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans.

Once, a degree used to mean a brighter future for college graduates, access to the middle class, and economic stability.

Today, student loan debt increases inequality and makes it harder for low-income graduates, particularly those of color , to buy a house, open a business, and start a family.

The solution lies in federal investments to states to lower the overall cost of public colleges and universities. In exchange, states would commit to reinvesting state funds in higher education. Any public college or university that benefited from the reinvestment program would be required to limit tuition increases. This federal-state partnership would help lower tuition for all students. Schools that lowered tuition would receive additional federal grants based on the degree to which costs are lowered.

Reinvesting in higher education programs like Pell Grants and work-study would ensure that Pell and other forms of financial aid that students don't need to pay back would cover a greater portion of tuition costs for low-income students. In addition, states that participate in this partnership would ensure that low-income students who attend state colleges and universities could afford non-tuition expenses like textbooks and housing fees . This proposal is one way to ensure that no student graduates with loans to pay back.

If the nation can provide hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to the oil and gas industry and billions of dollars more to Wall Street , we can afford to pay for public higher education. A tax on financial transactions like derivatives and stock trades would cover the cost. Building a truly affordable higher education system is an investment that would pay off economically.

Eliminating student loan debt is the first step, but it's not the last. Once we ensure that student loan debt isn't a barrier to going to college, we should reframe how we think about higher education. College shouldn't just be debt free-it should be free. Period.

We all help pay for our local high schools and kindergartens, whether or not we send our kids to them. And all parents have the option of choosing public schools, even if they can afford private institutions. Free primary and secondary schooling is good for our economy, strengthens our democracy, and most importantly, is critical for our children's health and future. Educating our kids is one of our community's most important responsibilities, and it's a right that every one of us enjoys. So why not extend public schooling to higher education as well?

Some might object that average Americans should not have to pay for students from wealthy families to go to school. But certain things should be guaranteed to all Americans, poor or rich. It's not a coincidence that some of the most important social programs in our government's history have applied to all citizens, and not just to those struggling to make ends meet.

Universal programs are usually stronger and more stable over the long term, and they're less frequently targeted by budget cuts and partisan attacks. Public schools have stood the test of time-let's make sure public colleges and universities do, too.

The United States has long been committed to educating all its people, not only its elites.

This country is also the wealthiest in the history of the world. We can afford to make college an option for every American family.

You can count on the Prospect , can we count on you?

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College Should Be Free Persuasive Essay Example

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Did you know that around 43.2 Million people suffer from College Debt, and all of that amount together comes up to over 1.59 Trillion? It has been highly debated for many years whether college students shouldn't have to pay to go to school in the United States and many Bills have been introduced to initiate Colleges going free. College Tuition should be free. Free college would reduce student debt, providing free college tuition gives an opportunity for everyone to go to college, and the economy and society would benefit from tuition free colleges.   

College should be Free because then the people who go won't have to pay off their college debt for the next couple of decades.“Student loan debt significantly impacts one's ability to purchase a home. When Equifax asked in 2015 millennial renters why they did not buy a home, 55.7% of respondents listed “student loan debt/not enough money saved” as the top reason.” (Williams, 1). This text states that the college debt is holding them back from the important things like, buying a house and keeping up their rent because they just aren’t able to afford or keep up the money while dealing with college debt. “When students graduate with debt, they will likely continue to add to their debt with interest. As such, it can take many years before they manage to dig themselves out of debt that only seems to keep growing. In the meantime, this delays spending on such things as buying a house or a car.”  (, 1) This quote shows that even after they graduate, they are stuck with these hard bills to pay off that only increase when they don't have the money to pay them which puts off important things and stuff they need to survive like, rent and food their focus is stuck on getting rid of this large amount of debt they have accumulated.So not only will we save Americans from a lifetime of debt, there are many other benefits as well. 

College Tuition should be free because it provides everyone with an equal opportunity to receive a good college education. “Free college tuition programs have proved effective in helping mitigate the system’s current inequities by increasing college enrollment, lowering dependence on student loan debt, and improving completion rates, especially among students of color and lower-income students who are often the first in their family to attend college.” (Winograd, Lubin, 1)  From what this quote states it is said that without college tuition not only do the everyday people who have been going can keep going but would show more people of color and people who come from low income and less fortunate families are able to go which leaves them with better education and better opportunities for their future. It also states that more students are graduating from college because they now have had the opportunity to go. “Students—including many older students juggling work and family responsibilities—recognize that higher education is a key to opportunity, and that has fueled a substantial increase in college enrollment rates in recent years. But unfortunately, for millions of other students, our higher education system isn't delivering what they need, or deserve. In part because of the rising costs of college, too many students are unable to enroll or complete high-quality degrees.” (, 1) This is basically saying that costs are rising, and many people in America use college as their opportunity and maybe their only opportunity to not have to struggle with money and can get the job they need to support themselves and their families, but it's becoming increasingly harder because of the ever so costly college tuition rates. since everyone would have an equal chance at a college education they can get better jobs and will be less of a burden on society and the government, leading to less government programs and homelessness

Free College would benefit the Economy and Society. “the U.S. economy will have a shortfall of 5 million college-educated workers by 2020. This gap is unsurprising. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require bachelor’s or associate’s degrees or some other education beyond high school, particularly in the fastest growing occupations—science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health care, and community service.” (Bergeron, Martin, 1) It is explained in this quote that some jobs that need a higher education than just high school are becoming so needed that people being able to have the chance to get them would really boost the economy. “By nearly any measure, college graduates outperform their peers who have only completed their high school degree. For example, the average graduate is 24 percent more likely to be employed and average earnings among graduates are $32,000 higher annually and $1 million higher over a lifetime.” (, 1) This quote gives light to the fact that with a better education and job opportunities, we can all make more money and be able to support ourselves and society.  On the other hand some claim that while helping society we still need to find the money to pay the costs associated with college and universities. 

Free College is a bad idea because the money still has to come from somewhere. “The estimated cost of Bernie Sanders’s free college program is $47 billion per year and has states paying 33% of the cost, or $15.5 billion. [25] According to David H. Feldman, Ph.D., and Robert B. Archibald, Ph.D., both Professors of Economics at William & Mary College, “This will require tax increases, or it will force states to move existing resources into higher education and away from other state priorities like health care, prisons, roads, and K-12 education.” Part of their concerns are not valid because many of those services are funded via the state's homeowners who pay their property taxes. “Free college is free for the student, but the money to cover the cost must come from somewhere. As mentioned earlier, this money could come from the defense budget, which is fine until there is a war, and the U.S. needs this money. It would also come from taxes, which means that Americans would be forced to pay more so that college can be free.” Another point made was that part of the US defense budget would be used, in fact the bill was presented to potentially use this budget in 2017 and was never seen to pass. 

I believe that the larger significance of having college free and getting rid of tuition would greatly benefit American society, It will give financially disadvantaged students a chance to move up the social ladder and afford them the same opportunities that their more financially fortunate peers are given, This will give a chance for everyone to be truly equal in society and gives chances to those who need to support themselves and their families. The takeaway for the readers is seeing the benefit this would have to society as a whole and they should start to support free college tuition in America.

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Is free college a good idea? Increasingly, evidence says yes

Subscribe to the brown center on education policy newsletter, douglas n. harris douglas n. harris nonresident senior fellow - governance studies , brown center on education policy , professor and chair, department of economics - tulane university @douglasharris99.

May 10, 2021

  • 10 min read

In just a few short years, the idea of free college has moved from a radical idea to mainstream Democratic thinking. President Biden made free college one of his core campaign planks , and one that the first lady has been promoting for years. In his recent address to Congress, the president also signaled that he is ready for legislative action on a scaled-back version of the idea as part of his American Families Plan .

Two weeks ago, the nonprofit College Promise (CP)—led by Martha Kanter, who served as President Obama’s undersecretary for education—also released a proposal that will influence the free college debate. (Full disclosure: I previously advised the Biden campaign and presently advise CP, but have received no compensation for these efforts.)

In today’s polarized environment, the free college idea stands out for its bipartisan support. A majority of self-identified Republicans has supported the notion of free college in some polls. In fact, one of the first such statewide programs was put in place by Bill Haslam, the former Republican governor of Tennessee. While this could go the way of Obamacare, which faced strong GOP congressional opposition despite the law’s origins with Republican Mitt Romney, free college seems different. Biden’s latest plan only applies to community colleges, which focus on career and vocational education of the sort Republicans support, as opposed to universities, which many Republicans view as hostile battlegrounds in a culture war.

But I am less interested in the politics than the evidence of effectiveness. I have studied college access for many years and run two randomized control trials of financial aid , which produced some of the first causal evidence on free college in Milwaukee. Two years ago, Brookings released the first installment of the Milwaukee work, which I carried out with a team of researchers. Since then, we have collected more data and learned more about how students responded over time. Below, I summarize our just-released study (co-authored with Jonathan Mills), compare our results to other financial aid programs, and then discuss implications for the Biden and CP proposals. Consequently, I conclude that the evidence increasingly favors free college and “open access aid” more generally.

What Did We Learn in Milwaukee?

I developed The Degree Project (TDP) in 2009 as a demonstration program in partnership between the nonprofit Ascendium (then known as the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). TDP offered all first-time 9 th graders in half of MPS high schools $12,000 for college as “last-dollar” aid. Students could use the funds for college if they graduated from high school on time with a GPA of 2.5 and a class attendance rate of 90%. Also, as is the norm with free college programs, students had to fill out the FAFSA and have at least one dollar of unmet need. The aid could be used to attend any of the 66 public, in-state, two- or four-year colleges in Wisconsin. Ascendium provided up to $31 million to fund the grant and, as the main program administrator, sent regular letters to remind students about the program and its requirements. The organization also worked with school counselors to support students becoming eligible for the funds and preparing for college.

TDP was announced to students in the fall of 2011. Using anonymized data, we then tracked students’ high school, college, and life outcomes for eight years, and we recently received data extending through when students were roughly 22 years old. As a rare randomized trial, we could estimate the effects by comparing the control and treatment group outcomes. Here is what we found:

  • For students who met the performance requirements, the program increased graduation from two-year colleges by 3 percentage points . This might seem small, but the denominator here is comprised of low-income 9 th graders. Half of the control group did not even graduate from high school, let alone college. The effect amounts to a 25% increase in two-year degrees.
  • The framing and design of the program as free two-year college changed student decisions in ways consistent with what free college advocates suggest. The $12,000 maximum award amount was selected because it was sufficient to cover tuition and fees for a two-year college degree. The fact that TDP made two-year college free, but only reduced the cost of four-year college, was clearly communicated to students. This appears to explain one of our main results: Student enrollments shifted from four-year to two-year colleges. This is noteworthy given that students could use the funds at either two- or four-year colleges. In fact, students likely would have been able to use more of the $12,000 if they had shifted to four-year colleges. The only plausible reason for shifting to two-year colleges is that they were really attracted to the idea of free college.
  • The “early commitment” nature of the program had some modest positive effects on some high school outcomes . Students learned about TDP in their 9 th grade year, giving them time to change their high school behaviors and college plans. Although it did not improve high school academic achievement, we find that TDP increased college expectations and the steps students took to prepare for college. TDP recipients also reported working harder because of the program (even though this did not show up in the academic measures). This highlights the fact that free college might also help address not only college-going rates, but the long-term stagnancy in high school outcomes.
  • The merit requirements undermined the program’s effectiveness . Though the 2.5 GPA and 90% attendance and other requirements were arguably modest, only 21% of eligible students ended up meeting them. So, they ended up excluding many students. We also tested the two main ways that the merit requirements could have been helpful: (a) merit requirements might provide incentives for students to work hard during high school and better prepare for college, and (b) merit requirements might target aid to students who respond to it most. We find no evidence of either benefit. While students did work harder (see point [3] above), this appears to be due to other elements of the program, not the merit requirements.

Overall, these results suggest that aid is most effective when it is “open access”—that is, aid with early commitment and free college framing, but no merit requirements.

What about the evidence beyond Milwaukee?

Our study also reviews other research on financial aid, including federal aid, state merit aid programs, and the newer “promise scholarship” programs that mimic free college. Our study is not alone in finding that financial aid improves student outcomes. In fact, the vast majority of the most rigorous studies find positive effects on college attendance and college graduation. Given the strong average benefits of college, we can expect follow-up studies to show effects on employment earnings, voting, and other outcomes.

What about the costs? Open access aid is more expensive to be sure. More students receive aid and the aid levels per students are larger than traditional financial aid. Is it worth it? Our analysis suggests it is. We carried out new cost-benefit analyses of multiple programs, including TDP, but also other actively studied programs in: Kalamazoo, Michigan; Knox County, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and one statewide program in Nebraska. We also used estimates of the average effects of aid taken from prior literature reviews. All of these programs pass a cost-benefit test. That is, the effects on college outcomes, and the effects of college outcomes on future earnings, is much larger than the cost to the government and society as a whole. Moreover, it appears that benefits-per-dollar-of-cost are at least as high with open access aid as with more restricted programs. This means that open access aid provides greater total benefits to the community as a whole.

Back to the Free College Proposals

What do these results mean for President Biden’s and CP’s proposals? The table below provides a side-by-side comparison. The main difference is the level of detail. This reflects that the CP plan was designed to align with, and flesh out, the Biden campaign proposal. Perhaps the only substantive difference is that the CP proposal (and the Milwaukee program) includes private colleges. The Biden campaign documents exclude private colleges, though the American Families Plan just says “free community college,” signaling alignment with the CP plan. Both proposals are clearly in the category of open access aid.

Biden Campaign Proposal College Promise
Student eligibility · 2y college: No income requirements · 4y college: Family AGI < $125,000 · 2y college: No income requirements · 4y college: Family AGI < $125,000 · Complete FAFSA · Part-time or full-time · Work requirements optional · State requirements on students “kept to a minimum”
College eligibility · Public only · Public and private · Title IV eligible · Meet accountability requirements based on College Scorecard
State-Federal Contributions · 67% of costs from the federal government · Public colleges: Federal govt contributes 75% of partnership funds; 25% from states · Private colleges: Partnership covers up to 50% of the cost per credit (capped at state avg cost per credit in public colleges); institutions cover remainder
Other · First-dollar (covers more than tuition and fees for some very-low-income students)

There are numerous similarities between these provisions and the Milwaukee program that my team and I studied. All three programs make two-year college free (or nearly so) for all students without income requirements and through early commitment of aid. All three require the FAFSA and high school graduation. Importantly, unlike both the Biden and CP proposals, the Milwaukee program had merit requirements, which undermined its success. This is partly why our evidence is so relevant to the current debate.

Some might wonder why the president has scaled back the proposal to just free community college. This reflects that the idea of free college—even the “scaled back” version—is such a marked departure from past policy, especially at the federal level. Free community college alone would still be arguably the largest shift in federal higher education policy in the past half-century.

Caveats and Concluding Thoughts

We cannot make policy from evidence alone, but it can and should play a key role. Sometimes, policy ideas have such limited evidence of effectiveness that it is difficult to make any plausible case for a large-scale, national program. In other cases, there is enough promise for pilot studies and competitive grants to establish efficacy. With free college, we seem to be well beyond that point. In addition to decades of results on general financial aid programs, we have a growing number of studies on state and local programs that all show positive evidence—the “laboratory of democracy” at work. The idea of a large, federal free-college program therefore has more and more credibility.

A decade ago, it was not at all obvious that this is what the evidence would show. There was really no evidence on free college programs when we started this project back in 2009. Also, there were good reasons to expect that such a large increase in aid would suffer from “diminishing returns”—the idea that the next dollar is less effective than the previous one. This could have made free college more costly than the benefits could justify. Now, we know better.

I do still worry a bit about other factors and challenges. For example, the above analyses can only capture the immediate effects of financial aid, yet a federal free college program is such a marked departure in policy that it could alter political and market forces operating on higher education in unpredictable ways, perhaps even lowering college spending and quality. Also, if the proposal remains focused on community colleges, then this will shift students out of four-year colleges and into colleges that currently have very low completion rates. There are also other ways to increase college affordability and access that do not require free college (e.g., increased Pell Grants and income-based loan repayment), some of which target funds more narrowly to the most disadvantaged students. And there are many details to be worked out as the president’s allies in Congress try to generate sufficient support without (a) sacrificing core principles, or (b) creating new problems that can arise when grafting new federal programs on to widely varying state contexts.

Still, it is not often that an idea comes around that addresses a widely acknowledged problem and has both research support and a fair degree of bipartisan political support. The stars seem aligned to make some form of national free college a reality. The more evidence we see, the more that would seem to be a step forward.

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Education Should Be Free for Everyone

In my argumentative essay, I discuss the ethical side of having a free education system. I discuss the positive sides and the negative sides of free education, and I focus mostly on having free higher education since we already have free education up to High School graduation levels. I conclude with a discussion about the actions of colleges and Universities and how they would inevitably make the ethical discussion mute from a student’s perceptive since the burden of ethics would fall upon higher education institutions in a world where they are given plenty of incentive to act immorally.

From an ethical perspective, it seems unfair that people who have less money are going to miss more opportunities. Ethically, opportunities should be open for all people. Though it may be true that the availability of an opportunity shouldn’t guarantee that a person receives that opportunity, the opportunity shouldn’t be ruled out. For example, all people should be able to become qualified to work in air traffic control, and even though a blind person is hardly guaranteed such a job position, the opportunity shouldn’t be ruled out as a default. Free education, especially free higher education, may open up a series of opportunities that some people would otherwise be unable to enjoy, and even if those opportunities are not guaranteed, they shouldn’t be ruled out by default, which is what happens when some people cannot use higher education for financial reasons. (Flood, 2014)

Some people are going to use free education as a way of getting out of work and as a way of doing nothing with their lives. Students up to the final year in High School are unable to get full-time jobs and live independently on their wages, which is why their education should be free. However, when a person is able to get a full-time job and live independently, he or she may get out of working by living on the education system. Even if the qualifications are free and not the living expenses, a person may still claim a slew of benefits and receive no incentive to ever get a job because he or she remains in the education system for years and years. (Gritz, 2010)

If all forms of education are free for students, then it becomes very easy for a person to waste his or her life on meaningless education. The decision to get into thousands upon thousands of dollars of debt in order to pursue a career should be agonizing and very difficult so as to make the student think long and hard about the decision. If all education is free, then less thought is required, and students may waste years of their life studying for qualifications that they do not need or even want. (Kamenetz, 2016)

If a student is genuinely looking for higher education and is not looking for a reason to do nothing and mess around for years by exploiting other people’s tax money through free education, then such a person may enjoy a longer education process. For example, a student taking a series of law qualifications is going to need five to seven years of education, which is also very expensive. If the cost of the qualification were removed, such a person may be able to take up jobs on an intermittent basis, stretch out his or her qualification duration, and take longer to gain said qualifications in a more comfortable manner. Instead of having to spend years as a low-income student while building debt, such a student may spend longer on a qualification and work while studying so that he or she may enjoy a more comfortable education experience. Plus, all of this would occur who the pressure of accumulating student debt. (The Leadership Institute, 2018)

Despite the ethical upsides and downsides that come with free education for students, it is sadly the Universities and colleges that will spoil it. These days, student loans are very easy to get, and this has resulted in colleges and Universities putting their prices up to almost scandalous levels, and it has resulted in colleges and Universities creating courses that add no real value for people wishing to join the workforce. If colleges and Universities were being fully funded by tax dollars, they would encourage students to join with a whole host of silly and frivolous programs because the quality of education would no longer matter or apply. (Fox, 2006).


Flood, Alison. “US students request ‘trigger warnings’ on literature.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 May 2014,

Fox News, 2006

Gritz, Jennie Rothenberg. “What’s Wrong with the American University System.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 28 July 2010,

Kamenetz, Anya. “How College Aid Is Like A Bad Coupon.” NPR, NPR, 17 Sept. 2016,

The Leadership Institute. “Why are colleges so liberal?” Leadership Institute, 2018

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The Pros and Cons of Free College Essay

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Utopia in the sphere of education

The advantages of free college education, the disadvantages of free college education, works cited.

A college is a facility giving people access to receiving higher education. Today, most jobs require a degree, and individuals without it have fewer employment opportunities. A good education has become a necessity for society as it opens many paths for building a career and making a living. During the last decades, tuition fees have significantly increased due to this demand, which made education impossible to receive for millions of people. There are multiple debates about whether the government should guarantee free higher education to all the people. Proponents of this initiative assert that it would allow more students to receive a good qualification according to their interests and, in its turn, it would contribute to the improvement of the economic situation. However, many experts are concerned with the idea of such a utopia as people studying for free tend to show worse attitudes than those who pay for their education. Moreover, subsidizing free colleges becomes a burden on the taxpayers.

Education is an essential part of human life as it allows receiving new skills and knowledge to become qualified in a certain sphere. The main purpose of education is to prepare individuals for the challenges of adult life. In the ideal world, there are two basic aims of training: working and sustaining good relationships, while in reality there are still problems with both of these aspects of life. On the contrary, in Utopia, schools would be designed by specialists, caring about the main problems of people both at home and at work, and building the training on the basis of this information. In Utopia, education considers virtue and moral values to be the most important as it helps to control the behavior of its citizens within the existing social structure (More). A special committee would also have to decide on the subjects to be studied by students, depending on their needs for future life, and would include self-awareness classes and training aimed at sustaining relationships with others. The education in the Utopia would be holistic, free, and targeted at everyone, making it possible for all the people to receive equal opportunities, not depending on their race, gender, or social status.

Widening of the workforce and the improvement of the economy

The existence of free colleges in the United States and the idea of making education without charge for everyone have caused numerous debates. Proponents of this initiative state that it serves as an opportunity for more people to receive a qualification as more than 60% of jobs require post-secondary education. From this perspective, giving people a chance to become specialized in a certain area allows them to climb the social and financial ladder, which has a positive influence on the state of the country’s economy. In addition, the idea of free college “equates to accessibility and attainability, often these new programs only remove obstacles for students, or the families of students, who are already highly likely to obtain a college degree” (DiMartino 259). Numerous studies have shown that more than a half of new students who enrolled in free community college programs were coming from low-income families, and would not be able to receive a degree without this aid. Those students showed good results and later received more employment opportunities.

Moreover, free access to various educational options for all people would widen the labor market by increasing the number of trained specialists. In its turn, it would help industries to hire and train qualified personnel with a wide range of skills. In addition, free education would also help to improve the country’s economy as it would allow students to receive a degree without collecting debts, which are being returned for the next years. It would permit people to be ready to earn and invest instead of thinking about paying off debts, which would have a good impact on the economy. For example, in Tennessee, according to the estimations, student loans significantly decreased in the first year of their program. From these perspectives, the availability of free colleges helps to improve the economy of the country as it allows people, who do not have resources for receiving a good education, to become qualified.

Liquidation of injustice

Another reason supporting the idea of making education free for everyone is its contribution to the liquidation of injustice. According to Bill Haslam, who was the first governor to sign a document about making community colleges in the American state of Tennessee free, it helps to fight inequality as people receive similar opportunities due to this initiative. The standard educational system, requiring payment from students, makes it impossible for many individuals from low-income families to afford to receive a degree due to high tuition costs. People confirm that their concern about the financial side interferes with their goals. According to the statistics, “nearly 60 percent of respondents said they worry about having enough money to pay for school, while half are concerned about paying their monthly expenses” (“Financial Stress Prevents College Students from Graduating”). Due to this inequality, numerous individuals do not have a chance to make contributions to society. According to multiple studies, the counties, which have already offered free educational programs, prove that injustice has declined there, while the rates of graduation have increased. From this perspective, free tuition can contribute to the solution to the situation with societal inequality.

Focus on careers

Numerous studies have shown that many students cannot focus on their studies and future careers because they are concerned with financial issues as they struggle to find means for paying for their education. Many individuals have to find a job to earn enough money to allow receiving a degree, which leads to worse performance due to the lack of time and emotional resources. There is also a growing rate among student loans for education, which leads to people thinking about returning debts instead of making a career and contributing to society. The reason for this phenomenon is that “the increasing use of debt, as a way of paying for higher education, shifts risk to individuals and away from the government” (Glater 1580). It may become a serious obstacle as “high debt load increases the risk for college dropout” (Houle 67). In addition, according to experts, educational facilities of the future should not only provide training in the chosen sphere but help people to become better at managing their resources and make wiser borrowing decisions. From this perspective, making education free would allow students to be more focused on their studies.

Worse attitudes of students

The opponents of the initiative, aimed at making colleges free for everyone, find several problems, which represent serious disadvantages of the idea. According to their opinion, students, who are not charged with a payment, demonstrate less commitment and worse attitudes to the training process. The team at the University of Michigan organized an experiment, during which they contacted low-income, high-achieving students and told them they had four years of free tuition and fees (Sacerdote). This guarantee led to an increase in the number of students “who enrolled at the University of Michigan by 15 percentage points” (Sacerdote par. 9). Moreover, those, who use educational services for free, show less commitment to the process of learning and often become a burden for teachers as they tend to demonstrate bad behavior patterns, a lack of discipline, and interfere with the training process. It happens as they have no stimulus to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to them by colleges. Such students are often interested only in picking up a better degree, which would guarantee them a well-paying job. This attitude leads to the appearance of more inefficient specialists who cannot make a contribution to society.

Increased burden on taxpayers

Another reason, used by the opponents of the idea, is that this system shifts the financial burden from students to taxpayers and the government cannot subsidize all of them to guarantee people with equal educational opportunities. From this perspective, experts estimate that making colleges free for all the population is impossible due to its devastative impact on the economy. Subsidizing post-secondary educational facilities is expensive for the government. Investing in the sphere of education for everyone would mean that the government would have to reduce the military budget or the support of a number of other industries. It would mean that the country’s security would become less efficient and many companies, deprived of money, would suffer and, probably, would stop existing. From this perspective, making the initiative available to everyone can lead to a financial crisis and only worsen the situation.

The arguments against the idea of making colleges free can be simply rebutted with the help of specific measures. One of the solutions to the problem of the lack of commitment among students is to involve testing of their abilities before granting them access to an educational facility. Many institutions in the United States already have this requirement for their candidates. For example, colleges in Chicago demand the participants of their programs providing free tuition opportunities, to earn at least a “B” average. The practice of evaluation of students before accepting them to the facility has proven its efficiency as it allows granting options for receiving free education only to those who are ready to take full advantage of them. It leads to an increase in the quality of educational services and contributes to the growth of the number of well-trained specialists.

The government can also reconsider the financial issue as the importance of higher education is obvious for everyone and the system of free-of-charge admission has proven its efficiency in many states, as well. It is especially important today as the world is suffering from the pandemic, which has impacted all the spheres of life, including education. The situation has also demonstrated the need for training opportunities for everyone. Individuals require various options for obtaining new skills and knowledge, which can guarantee them an ability to make a living and to sustain the country’s economy, regardless of their race and social status. There are numerous measures, which can be undertaken by the government, including revaluation of its spending in different sectors and introducing policies, which would help to cope with organizations and individuals, who avoid paying taxes. These measures would help to find funds for subsidizing the sphere of education, which would provide all people with an opportunity to receive a degree and become efficient.

In conclusion, free colleges are a good initiative aimed at helping students, especially those who come from low-income families and cannot afford to receive a degree. The program allows more individuals to receive a good education and become qualified in the chosen sphere. Such a system provides people with more employment opportunities, allowing them to make a contribution to society. It also helps to fight the problem of injustice as it gives equal opportunities to all people. Moreover, the initiative stimulates the improvement of the economy as it helps to widen the workforce and receive more good specialists. However, there are several arguments used by the opponents of the idea, claiming that students, who are paid for, demonstrate less commitment and poor discipline, causing problems to teachers. Moreover, the financial perspective also interferes with the concept of nationwide free access to colleges as the government cannot subsidize all of the facilities and it would increase a burden for taxpayers. Nevertheless, there are ways for coping with these problems as there is a strong need for educational opportunities for all people, not depending on their race, gender, and social status.

DiMartino, Lauren A. The “Free College” Illusion: How State Tuition Support Programs are Widening the Opportunity Gap . Georgetown Journal on Poverty, Law, and Policy , vol. 25, no. 2, 2018, pp. 258-301.

“ Financial Stress Prevents College Students from Graduating. What Can We Do? ” Scholarship America , 2019.

Glater, Jonathan D. Student Debt and Higher Education Risk . California Law Review , vol. 103, no. 6, 2021, pp. 1561-1614.

Houle, Jason N. Disparities in Debt: Parents’ Socioeconomic Resources and Young Adult Student Loan Debt . Sociology of Education , vol. 87, no. 1, 2014.

More, Thomas. Utopia . A Norton Critical Edition. Translated and Edited by Robert M. Adams. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992.

Sacerdote, Bruce. Opinion: Here’s the Downside of Making Community College Free . MarketWatch, 2020.

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Should College Be Free? The Pros and Cons

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Types of Publicly Funded College Tuition Programs

Pros: why college should be free, cons: why college should not be free, what the free college debate means for students, how to cut your college costs now, frequently asked questions (faqs).

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Americans have been debating the wisdom of free college for decades, and more than 30 states now offer some type of free college program. But it wasn't until 2021 that a nationwide free college program came close to becoming reality, re-energizing a longstanding debate over whether or not free college is a good idea. 

And despite a setback for the free-college advocates, the idea is still in play. The Biden administration's free community college proposal was scrapped from the American Families Plan . But close observers say that similar proposals promoting free community college have drawn solid bipartisan support in the past. "Community colleges are one of the relatively few areas where there's support from both Republicans and Democrats," said Tulane economics professor Douglas N. Harris, who has previously consulted with the Biden administration on free college, in an interview with The Balance. 

To get a sense of the various arguments for and against free college, as well as the potential impacts on U.S. students and taxpayers, The Balance combed through studies investigating the design and implementation of publicly funded free tuition programs and spoke with several higher education policy experts. Here's what we learned about the current debate over free college in the U.S.—and more about how you can cut your college costs or even get free tuition through existing programs.

Key Takeaways

  • Research shows free tuition programs encourage more students to attend college and increase graduation rates, which creates a better-educated workforce and higher-earning consumers who can help boost the economy. 
  • Some programs are criticized for not paying students’ non-tuition expenses, not benefiting students who need assistance most, or steering students toward community college instead of four-year programs.  
  • If you want to find out about free programs in your area, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education has a searchable database. You’ll find the link further down in this article. 

Before diving into the weeds of the free college debate, it's important to note that not all free college programs are alike. Most publicly funded tuition assistance programs are restricted to the first two years of study, typically at community colleges. Free college programs also vary widely in the ways they’re designed, funded, and structured:

  • Last-dollar tuition-free programs : These programs cover any remaining tuition after a student has used up other financial aid , such as Pell Grants. Most state-run free college programs fall into this category. However, these programs don’t typically help with room and board or other expenses.
  • First-dollar tuition-free programs : These programs pay for students' tuition upfront, although they’re much rarer than last-dollar programs. Any remaining financial aid that a student receives can then be applied to other expenses, such as books and fees. The California College Promise Grant is a first-dollar program because it waives enrollment fees for eligible students.
  • Debt-free programs : These programs pay for all of a student's college expenses , including room and board, guaranteeing that they can graduate debt-free. But they’re also much less common, likely due to their expense.  

Proponents often argue that publicly funded college tuition programs eventually pay for themselves, in part by giving students the tools they need to find better jobs and earn higher incomes than they would with a high school education. The anticipated economic impact, they suggest, should help ease concerns about the costs of public financing education. Here’s a closer look at the arguments for free college programs.

A More Educated Workforce Benefits the Economy

Morley Winograd, President of the Campaign for Free College Tuition, points to the economic and tax benefits that result from the higher wages of college grads. "For government, it means more revenue," said Winograd in an interview with The Balance—the more a person earns, the more they will likely pay in taxes . In addition, "the country's economy gets better because the more skilled the workforce this country has, the better [it’s] able to compete globally." Similarly, local economies benefit from a more highly educated, better-paid workforce because higher earners have more to spend. "That's how the economy grows," Winograd explained, “by increasing disposable income."

According to Harris, the return on a government’s investment in free college can be substantial. "The additional finding of our analysis was that these things seem to consistently pass a cost-benefit analysis," he said. "The benefits seem to be at least double the cost in the long run when we look at the increased college attainment and the earnings that go along with that, relative to the cost and the additional funding and resources that go into them." 

Free College Programs Encourage More Students to Attend

Convincing students from underprivileged backgrounds to take a chance on college can be a challenge, particularly when students are worried about overextending themselves financially. But free college programs tend to have more success in persuading students to consider going, said Winograd, in part because they address students' fears that they can't afford higher education . "People who wouldn't otherwise think that they could go to college, or who think the reason they can't is [that] it's too expensive, [will] stop, pay attention, listen, decide it's an opportunity they want to take advantage of, and enroll," he said.

According to Harris, students also appear to like the certainty and simplicity of the free college message. "They didn't want to have to worry that next year they were not going to have enough money to pay their tuition bill," he said. "They don't know what their finances are going to look like a few months down the road, let alone next year, and it takes a while to get a degree. So that matters." 

Free college programs can also help send "a clear and tangible message" to students and their families that a college education is attainable for them, said Michelle Dimino, an Education Director with Third Way. This kind of messaging is especially important to first-generation and low-income students, she said. 

Free College Increases Graduation Rates and Financial Security

Free tuition programs appear to improve students’ chances of completing college. For example, Harris noted that his research found a meaningful link between free college tuition and higher graduation rates. "What we found is that it did increase college graduation at the two-year college level, so more students graduated than otherwise would have." 

Free college tuition programs also give people a better shot at living a richer, more comfortable life, say advocates. "It's almost an economic necessity to have some college education," noted Winograd. Similar to the way a high school diploma was viewed as crucial in the 20th century, employees are now learning that they need at least two years of college to compete in a global, information-driven economy. "Free community college is a way of making that happen quickly, effectively, and essentially," he explained. 

Free community college isn’t a universally popular idea. While many critics point to the potential costs of funding such programs, others identify issues with the effectiveness and fairness of current attempts to cover students’ college tuition. Here’s a closer look at the concerns about free college programs.

It Would Be Too Expensive

The idea of free community college has come under particular fire from critics who worry about the cost of social spending. Since community colleges aren't nearly as expensive as four-year colleges—often costing thousands of dollars a year—critics argue that individuals can often cover their costs using other forms of financial aid . But, they point out, community college costs would quickly add up when paid for in bulk through a free college program: Biden’s proposed free college plan would have cost $49.6 billion in its first year, according to an analysis from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Some opponents argue that the funds could be put to better use in other ways, particularly by helping students complete their degrees.

Free College Isn't Really Free

One of the most consistent concerns that people have voiced about free college programs is that they don’t go far enough. Even if a program offers free tuition, students will need to find a way to pay for other college-related expenses , such as books, room and board, transportation, high-speed internet, and, potentially, child care. "Messaging is such a key part of this," said Dimino. Students "may apply or enroll in college, understanding it's going to be free, but then face other unexpected charges along the way." 

It's important for policymakers to consider these factors when designing future free college programs. Otherwise, Dimino and other observers fear that students could potentially wind up worse off if they enroll and invest in attending college and then are forced to drop out due to financial pressures. 

Free College Programs Don’t Help the Students Who Need Them Most

Critics point out that many free college programs are limited by a variety of quirks and restrictions, which can unintentionally shut out deserving students or reward wealthier ones. Most state-funded free college programs are last-dollar programs, which don’t kick in until students have applied financial aid to their tuition. That means these programs offer less support to low-income students who qualify for need-based aid—and more support for higher-income students who don’t.

Community College May Not Be the Best Path for All Students

Some critics also worry that all students will be encouraged to attend community college when some would have been better off at a four-year institution. Four-year colleges tend to have more resources than community colleges and can therefore offer more support to high-need students. 

In addition, some research has shown that students at community colleges are less likely to be academically successful than students at four-year colleges, said Dimino. "Statistically, the data show that there are poorer outcomes for students at community colleges […] such as lower graduation rates and sometimes low transfer rates from two- to four-year schools." 

With Congress focused on other priorities, a nationwide free college program is unlikely to happen anytime soon. However, some states and municipalities offer free tuition programs, so students may be able to access some form of free college, depending on where they live. A good resource is the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education’s searchable database of Promise Programs , which lists more than 100 free community college programs, though the majority are limited to California residents.

In the meantime, school leaders and policymakers may shift their focus to other access and equity interventions for low-income students. For example, higher education experts Eileen Strempel and Stephen Handel published a book in 2021 titled "Beyond Free College: Making Higher Education Work for 21st Century Students." The book argues that policymakers should focus more strongly on college completion, not just college access. "There hasn't been enough laser-focus on how we actually get people to complete their degrees," noted Strempel in an interview with The Balance. 

Rather than just improving access for low-income college students, Strempel and Handel argue that decision-makers should instead look more closely at the social and economic issues that affect students , such as food and housing insecurity, child care, transportation, and personal technology. For example, "If you don't have a computer, you don't have access to your education anymore," said Strempel. "It's like today's pencil."

Saving money on college costs can be challenging, but you can take steps to reduce your cost of living. For example, if you're interested in a college but haven't yet enrolled, pay close attention to where it's located and how much residents typically pay for major expenses, such as housing, utilities, and food. If the college is located in a high-cost area, it could be tough to justify the living expenses you'll incur. Similarly, if you plan to commute, take the time to check gas or public transportation prices and calculate how much you'll likely have to spend per month to go to and from campus several times a week. 

Now that more colleges offer classes online, it may also be worth looking at lower-cost programs in areas that are farther from where you live, particularly if they allow you to graduate without setting foot on campus. Also, check out state and federal financial aid programs that can help you slim down your expenses, or, in some cases, pay for them completely. Finally, look into need-based and merit-based grants and scholarships that can help you cover even more of your expenses. Also, consider applying to no-loan colleges , which promise to help students graduate without going into debt.

Should community college be free?

It’s a big question with varying viewpoints. Supporters of free community college cite the economic contributions of a more educated workforce and the individual benefit of financial security, while critics caution against the potential expense and the inefficiency of last-dollar free college programs. 

What states offer free college?

More than 30 states offer some type of tuition-free college program, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington State. The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education lists over 100 last-dollar community college programs and 16 first-dollar community college programs, though the majority are limited to California residents.

Is there a free college?

There is no such thing as a truly free college education. But some colleges offer free tuition programs for students, and more than 30 states offer some type of tuition-free college program. In addition, students may also want to check out employer-based programs. A number of big employers now offer to pay for their employees' college tuition . Finally, some students may qualify for enough financial aid or scholarships to cover most of their college costs.

Scholarships360. " Which States Offer Tuition-Free Community College? "

The White House. “ Build Back Better Framework ,” see “Bringing Down Costs, Reducing Inflationary Pressures, and Strengthening the Middle Class.”

The White House. “ Fact Sheet: How the Build Back Better Plan Will Create a Better Future for Young Americans ,” see “Education and Workforce Opportunities.”

Coast Community College District. “ California College Promise Grant .”

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “ The Dollars and Cents of Free College ,” see “Biden’s Free College Plan Would Pay for Itself Within 10 Years.”

Third Way. “ Why Free College Could Increase Inequality .”

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “ The Dollars and Cents of Free College ,” see “Free-College Programs Have Different Effects on Race and Class Equity.”

University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. “ College Promise Programs: A Comprehensive Catalog of College Promise Programs in the United States .”

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Why Should College Be Free: Overview of The Benefits

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Updated: 23 January, 2024

Words: 1583 | Pages: 3 | 8 min read

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Introduction, why college should be free, works cited.

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  • Svenska Dagbladet. (2018, August 20). Greta Thunberg: “Skolstrejken för klimatet kan pågå i åratal” [Greta Thunberg: “The school strike for climate can go on for years”]. Retrieved from
  • The Guardian. (2019, March 11). Greta Thunberg: The Fifteen-Year-Old Climate Activist Who Is Leading a Global Movement.

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Should College Be Free?

Do you think other states should follow New Mexico in making higher education tuition-free? What would that mean for society?

thesis statement for free college education

By Callie Holtermann

Do you plan to go to college? Are you or your family concerned about paying for it?

In the past three decades, the average cost of attending a private college in the United States has tripled — landing at around $50,000 per year.

Should college cost this much? How would our society change if college cost nothing at all?

Amid declines in enrollment , states including Texas and Michigan are experimenting with plans to reduce or eliminate tuition for many students. Starting in July, New Mexico will go a step further: It will completely cover tuition for all state residents who attend public colleges and universities.

In “ What if College Were Free? This State Is Trying to Find Out. ,” Simon Romero writes about the state’s plan, which received bipartisan approval:

As universities across the United States face steep enrollment declines , New Mexico’s government is embarking on a pioneering experiment to fight that trend: tuition-free higher education for all state residents. After President Biden’s plan for universal free community college failed to gain traction in Congress, New Mexico, one of the nation’s poorest states, has emerged with perhaps the most ambitious plans as states scramble to come up with their own initiatives. A new state law approved in a rare show of bipartisanship allocates almost 1 percent of the state’s budget toward covering tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, community colleges and tribal colleges. All state residents from new high school graduates to adults enrolling part-time will be eligible regardless of family income. The program is also open to immigrants regardless of their immigration status. Some legislators and other critics question whether there should have been income caps, and whether the state, newly flush with oil and gas revenue, can secure long-term funding to support the program beyond its first year. The legislation, which seeks to treat college as a public resource similar to primary and secondary education, takes effect in July.

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Free College – Top 3 Pros and Cons

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thesis statement for free college education

Free  college  programs come in different forms but generally refer to the government picking up the tab for tuition costs, while students pay for other expenses such as room and board.  [ 50 ]  

32 states and DC have some variation of free college programs. 9 states have statewide programs with “few eligibility limits,” while 23 have “[s]tate sponsored free college tuition programs with income, merit, geographical or programmatic limitations.” 18 states have no free college programs. [ 51 ] [ 52 ]

Tuition at public four-year institutions rose more than 31% between 2010 and 2020. When adjusted for inflation, college tuition has risen 747.8% since 1963. The average student loan debt more than doubled from the 1990s to the 2010s, according to the US Department of Education . About 16.8 million undergraduate students were projected to be enrolled in college in 2022, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. [ 29 ] [ 53 ] [ 54 ]

College tuition is set by state policy or by each individual institution. Some colleges, especially federal land grant schools, had free tuition beginning in the 1860s. And some states had tuition-free policies at state colleges and universities for in-state students well into the twentieth century. According to Ronald Gordon Ehrenberg, Professor at Cornell University, “Public colleges and universities were often free at their founding in the United States, but over time, as public support was reduced or not increased sufficiently to compensate for their growth in students and costs (faculty and staff salaries, utilities etc.), they moved first to a low tuition and eventually higher tuition policy. About 2.9% of American 18- to 24-year olds went to college for the 1909-1910 school year, compared to 40% in 2020. [ 37 ] [ 38 ] [ 39 ] [ 55 ]

At the national level, free college programs have been in effect for military personnel since the 1944 GI Bill . At least 26 other countries have free or nearly free college tuition: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Panama, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Uruguay. [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 42 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ]

According to the 2022 Education Next Survey of Public Opinion, 63% of Americans supported free 4-year college and 66% supported free 2-year college. [ 56 ]

Should Public College Be Tuition-Free?

Pro 1 Tuition-free college will help decrease crippling student debt. If tuition is free, students will take on significantly fewer student loans. Student loan debt in the United States is almost $1.75 trillion. 45 million Americans have student loan debt, and 7.5 million of those borrowers are in default. The average 2019 graduate owed $28,950 in college loans. Approximately 92% of US student loans are owned by the US Department of Education. [ 57] Student loan debt rose 317% between 1970 and 2021, and public college costs rose 180% between 1980 and 2019. Students are coming out of college already buried under a mountain of debt before they have a chance to start their careers. [ 58] [ 59] Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), an advocate for free college, stated, “It is insane and counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. That shortsighted path to the future must end.” [ 6] Read More
Pro 2 The US economy and society has benefited from tuition-free college in the past. Nearly half of all college students in 1947 were military veterans, thanks to President Roosevelt signing the GI Bill in 1944 to ensure military service members, veterans, and their dependents could attend college tuition-free. The GI Bill allowed 2.2 million veterans to earn a college education, and another 5.6 million to receive vocational training, all of which helped expand the middle class. An estimated 40% of those veterans would not have been able to attend college otherwise. GI Bill recipients generated an extra $35.6 billion over 35 years and an extra $12.8 billion in tax revenue, resulting in a return of $6.90 for every dollar spent. [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9] [ 10 ] The beneficiaries of the free tuition contributed to the economy by buying cars and homes, and getting jobs after college, while not being burdened by college debt. They contributed to society with higher levels of volunteering, voting, and charitable giving. [ 11 ] The 1944 GI Bill paid for the educations of 22,000 dentists, 67,000 doctors, 91,000 scientists, 238,000 teachers, 240,000 accountants, 450,000 engineers, three Supreme Court Justices (Rehnquist, Stevens, and White), three presidents (Nixon, Ford, and H.W. Bush), many congressmen, at least one Secretary of State, 14 Nobel Prize winners, at least 24 Pulitzer Prize winners, many entertainers (including Johnny Cash, Paul Newman, and Clint Eastwood), and many more. [ 8 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] During the post-World War II era, the United States ranked first in the world for college graduates, compared to tenth today. [ 14 ] Read More
Pro 3 Everyone deserves the opportunity to get a college education. Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, stated, “A dramatic increase in the number of Americans with college credentials is absolutely essential for our economic, social and cultural development as a country.” [ 15 ] The rapid rise of tuition has limited access to higher education, which is essential in today’s workforce: three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations now call for education beyond high school, according to the US Department of Education. College graduates earn $570,000 more than a high school graduate over a lifetime, on average, and they have lower unemployment rates. Students from low- and moderate-income families are unable to afford as many as 95% of American colleges. [ 16] [ 17] [ 29] [ 30] Max Page, Professor of Architecture, and Dan Clawson, Professor of Sociology, both at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, stated: “A century ago high school was becoming a necessity, not a luxury; today the same is happening to college. If college is essential for building a career and being a full participant in our democracy as high school once was, shouldn’t it be free, paid for by public dollars, and treated as a right of all members of our country?” [ 21 ] Read More
Con 1 Tuition-free college is not free college and students will still have large debts. Tuition is only one expense college students have to pay and accounts for anywhere from 28.9% to 73.6% of total average college costs. [ 60] On average, 2021-2022 in-state tuition at a 4-year public college cost $10,740 per year. Fees, room, and board for on-campus housing are another $11,950 . Books and supplies are another $1,240, transportation another $1,230, and other expenses cost another $2,170. Without tuition, college still costs an average of $16,590 per year. [ 60 ] Tuition accounts for just 20% of the average community college student’s budget, which runs $18,830 annually on average. [ 60 ] Sweden has free college and yet students in that country had an average of $19,000 in student debt for living costs and other expenses in 2013, compared to the $24,800 in debt US college students had the same year. [ 24 ] [ 1 ] Read More
Con 2 Taxpayers would spend billions to subsidize tuition, while other college costs remained high. The estimated cost of Bernie Sanders’ free college program was $47 billion per year, and had states paying 33% of the cost, or $15.5 billion. According to David H. Feldman and Robert B. Archibald, both Professors of Economics at William & Mary College: “This will require tax increases, or it will force states to move existing resources into higher education and away from other state priorities like health care, prisons, roads and K-12 education.” [ 25 ] [ 26 ] According to a 2016 Campaign for Free College report, states could lose between $77 million (Wyoming) and $5 billion (California) in tuition revenue from their state colleges and universities, and have to pay an additional $15,000 (Wyoming) to $55 million (New York) to subsidize a tuition-free plan. [ 27 ] Neal McCluskey, Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, calculated that free college funded by tax dollars would cost every adult taxpayer $1,360 a year, or $77,500 over a lifetime. “Why should people who want to go to college get it paid for in part by people who pursue on-the-job training or other forms of noncollege education?,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal , adding, “Indeed, why should anyone get a degree to increase their lifetime earnings on the backs of taxpayers?” [ 28 ] College costs have increased for of a number of reasons unrelated to tuition, including fancy dorms, amenities like lazy rivers and climbing walls, student services (such as healthcare), athletics, increases in administrative personnel, and cuts in state funding. [ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 46] Read More
Con 3 Tuition-free college will decrease completion rates, leaving students without the benefits of a full college education and degree. Jack A. Chambless, Economics Professor at Valencia College, said that with a free college program, “Potentially millions of young people who have no business attending college would waste their time — and taxpayer dollars — seeking degrees they will not obtain… Free tuition would dupe young people into a sense of belonging, only to find that their work ethic, intelligence and aptitude are not up to the rigors of advanced education.” [ 34 ] Under California’s community college fee waiver program, over 50% of the state’s community college students attended for free (before a 2017 program change), but only 6% of all California community college students completed a career technical program and fewer than 10% completed a two-year degree in six years. [ 35 ] Vince Norton, Managing Partner at Norton Norris, a campus marketing company, stated, “Students will enroll at a ‘free college’ and borrow money for the cost of attendance. Then, they will drop out and have a student loan – but no skills. Brilliant.” [ 36 ] Read More

thesis statement for free college education

Discussion Questions

1. Should college tuition be free? For which colleges/universities? Explain your answers.

2. Brainstorm potential pros and cons of free college for individual students.

3. How would free college benefit (or disadvantage) college communities? Explain your answer(s).

Take Action

1. Analyze the goals of the Campaign for Free College Tuition .

2. Explore US News’ list of 16 colleges that do not charge tuition.

3. Consider Michael Poliakoff’s position that free college could raise tuition costs.

4. Consider how you felt about the issue before reading this article. After reading the pros and cons on this topic, has your thinking changed? If so, how? List two to three ways. If your thoughts have not changed, list two to three ways your better understanding of the “other side of the issue” now helps you better argue your position.

5. Push for the position and policies you support by writing US national senators and representatives .

1.Michelle Singletary, “U.S. Student Loan Debt Reaches a Staggering $1.53 Trillion,”, Oct. 3, 2018
2.Zack Friedman, “Student Loan Debt Statistics in 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis,”, June 13, 2018
3.Institute of Education Science, “Fast Facts: Back to School Statistics,” (accessed Mar. 8, 2019)
4.Emmie Martin, “Here’s How Much More Expensive It Is for You to Go to College Than It Was for Your Parents,”, Nov. 29, 2017
5.Dan Caplinger, “Rising Cost of College Creating a Financial Hole for Parents, Students: Foolish Take,”, June 9, 2018
6.Harlan Green, “What Happened to Tuition-Free College?,”, June 1, 2016
7.History Channel, “G.I. Bill,”, Aug. 21, 2018
8.American RadioWorks, “The History of the GI Bill,”, Sep. 3, 2015
9.Suzanne Mettler, “How the GI Bill Built the Middle Class and Enhanced Democracy,”, Jan. 1, 2012
10.Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute, “GI Bill of Rights: A Profitable Investment for the United States,” (accessed Mar. 7, 2019)
11.Dennis W. Johnson,  , 2009
12.Andrew Glass, “FDR Signs GI Bill, June 22, 1944,”, June 22, 2017
13.Megan Slack, “By the Numbers: 3,”, Apr. 27, 2012
14.Arne Duncan and John Bridgeland, “Free College for All Will Power 21st-Century Economy and Empower Our Democracy,”, Sep. 17, 2018
15.Claudio Sanchez, “Should Everyone Go to College?,”, July 15, 2009
16.Erin Currier, “How Generation X Could Change the American Dream,”, Jan. 26, 2018
17.Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Unemployment Rate 2.5 Percent for College Grads, 7.7 Percent for High School Dropouts, January 2017,”, Feb. 7, 2017
18.Marcelina Hardy, “7 Benefits of Earning a College Degree,”, 2013
19.Sandy Baum, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Pays, “Education Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,”, 2010
20.Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities, “Should College Be Free? Pros, Cons, and Alternatives,” (accessed Feb. 27, 2019)
21.Max Page and Dan Clawson, “It’s Time to Push for Free College,” (accessed Mar. 7, 2019)
22.College Board, “Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2018-2019,” (accessed Feb. 25, 2019)
23.College Board, “Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time,” (accessed Feb. 25, 2019)
24.Matt Philips, “College in Sweden Is Free but Students Still Have a Ton of Debt. How Can That Be?,”, May 30, 2013
25.Bernie Sanders, “Summary for Sen. Sanders’ College for All Act,” (accessed Mar. 4, 2019)
26.David H. Feldman and Robert B. Archibald, “Why Bernie Sanders’s Free College Plan Doesn’t Make Sense,”, Apr. 22, 2016
27.Campaign for Free College Tuition, “How Expensive Is Free College for States?,”, Sep. 30, 2016
28.Neal McCluskey, “Should College Education Be Free?,”, Mar. 20, 2018
29.US Department of Education, “College Affordability and Completion: Ensuring a Pathway to Opportunity,” (accessed Mar. 14, 2019)
30.Emily Deruy, “Measuring College (Un)affordability,”, Mar. 23, 2017
31.Hillary Hoffower, “College Is More Expensive Than It’s Ever Been, and the 5 Reasons Why Suggest It’s Only Going to Get Worse,”, July 8, 2018
32.Sattler College, “Why Is College So Expensive?,”, Nov. 29, 2017
33.Earnest, “Why Is College So Expensive? 4 Trends Contributing to the Rising Cost of College?,” (accessed Mar. 7, 2019)
34.Jack Chambless, “Clinton’s Free-College Nonsense Would Plunder Taxpayers, Dupe Students,”, Aug. 2016
35.Jennifer E. Walsh, “Why States Should Abandon the ‘Free College’ Movement,”, Mar. 19, 2018
36.Vince Norton, “Why Free College Is a Bad Idea,”, Mar. 16, 2018
37.Amy Sherman, “Was College Once Free in the United States, as Bernie Sanders Says?,”, Feb. 9, 2016
38.Michael Stone, “What Happened When American States Tried Providing Tuition-Free College,”, Apr. 4, 2016
39.Digest of Education Statistics, “Table 302.60. Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds Enrolled in College, by Level of Institution and Sex and Race/Ethnicity of Student: 1970 through 2016,” (accessed Mar. 7, 2019)
40.Ashley Smith, “Obama Steps up to Push for Free,”, Sep. 9, 2015
41.College Promise Plan, “About Us,” (accessed Mar. 4, 2019)
42.Edvisors, “Countries with Free or Nearly Free Tuition,” (accessed Feb. 21, 2019)
43.Alanna Petroff, “New York Offers Free College Tuition. So Do These Countries,”, Apr. 10, 2017
44.Lisa Goetz, “6 Countries with Virtually Free College Tuition,”, Feb. 12, 2019
45.Morning Consult and Politico, “National Tracking Poll #170911 September 14-17, 2017,”, Sep. 2017
46.Elizabeth Warren, “The Affordability Crisis: Rescuing the Dream of College Education for the Working Class and Poor,”, June 10, 2015
47.Andrew Kreighbaum, “Free College Goes Mainstream,”, Sep. 26, 2018
48.Sophie Quinton, “‘Free College’ Is Increasingly Popular — and Complicated for States,”, Mar. 5, 2019
49.National Center for Education Statistics, “Back to School Statistics,” (accessed Mar. 18, 2019)
50.Katie Lobosco, “6 Things to Know about Tuition-Free College,”, Apr. 26, 2016
51.Campaign for Free College Tuition, homepage, (accessed Aug. 24, 2022)
52.Hanneh Bareham, "States with Free College Tuition," , Aug. 4, 2022
53.National Center for Education Statistics, "Undergraduate Enrollment," , May 2022
54.Melanie Hanson, "College Tuition Inflation Rate," , Aug. 10, 2022
55.National Center for Education Statistics, "College Enrollment Rates," , May 2022
56.David M. Houston, Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West, "Partisan Rifts Widen, Perceptions of School Quality Decline," , Summer 2022
57.Anna Helhoski and Ryan Lane, "Student Loan Debt Statistics: 2022," , Aug. 24, 2022
58.Melanie Hanson, “Average Student Loan Debt by Year,” , Jan. 19, 2022
59.Brianna McGurran and Alicia Hahn, "College Tuition Inflation: Compare the Cost of College over Time," , Mar. 28, 2022
60.College Board, "Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021," , Feb. 3, 2022

More College Debate Topics

Is a College Education Worth It? – Proponents of college education say college graduates make more money. Opponents say student loan debt is crippling for college graduates.

Should Student Loan Debt Be Eliminated via Forgiveness or Bankruptcy? – Proponents say debt forgiveness would boost the economy. Opponents say people must be held responsible for their personal economic choices.

Should Colleges and Universities Pay College Athletes? – Proponents say colleges profit unfairly off of the athletes. Opponents say the athletes are paid in tuition.

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Education Thesis Statement

Ai generator.

thesis statement for free college education

Crafting a strong thesis statement is essential for any successful educational essay or research paper. This one or two-sentence assertion forms the backbone of your argument, providing a concise summary of the point you intend to make. Whether you’re exploring the impact of technology in classrooms or analyzing the effectiveness of early childhood education, a well-structured thesis statement serves as a roadmap, guiding both.

What is Education Thesis Statement – Definition

An education thesis statement is a concise, focused, and arguable statement that presents the main idea or argument of an essay, research paper, or academic work related to the field of education. It outlines the scope of the study and provides a roadmap for the reader to understand the purpose and direction of the paper.

What is a Good Thesis Statement about Education

A comprehensive integration of technology in classrooms enhances students’ engagement, knowledge retention, and critical thinking skills, ultimately transforming traditional educational paradigms.”

What is an Example of an Education Topic Thesis Statement

“Implementing inclusive education policies in primary schools leads to improved academic outcomes for students with disabilities, fostering a more diverse and supportive learning environment.”

Remember, a good thesis statement is specific, debatable, and gives a clear indication of the focus of your paper. It should also be supported by evidence and analysis throughout the essay.

100 Education Statement Examples

Education Statement Examples

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Crafting effective education thesis statements is pivotal in academic writing. These succinct sentences encapsulate the core concepts of your research, guiding your paper’s trajectory. From dissecting teaching methodologies to examining education’s societal impacts, a well-structured thesis statement is a beacon that illuminates your scholarly journey.

  • Technology in Education : Integrating personalized digital tools in classrooms enhances collaborative learning, preparing students for a tech-driven world.
  • Early Childhood Education : High-quality preschool programs significantly improve children’s cognitive development, ensuring a strong foundation for future learning.
  • Inclusive Education : Adapting curriculum and teaching methods to diverse learning styles fosters equitable and enriching classroom experiences for all students.
  • Education Policy : Reforms in standardized testing systems promote a more holistic evaluation of students’ abilities and potential.
  • Online Learning : The surge in online education democratizes access to knowledge, revolutionizing traditional notions of learning environments.
  • Critical Pedagogy : Empowering students to think critically about societal issues cultivates active citizenship and social change.
  • STEM Education : Prioritizing STEM subjects in curricula prepares students for the demands of a technology-driven workforce.
  • Arts Integration : Infusing arts into education not only enhances creativity but also nurtures a deeper understanding of core subjects.
  • Parental Involvement : Engaged parental participation positively correlates with students’ academic success and overall well-being.
  • Higher Education Costs : Exploring alternative funding models is crucial to make higher education accessible and affordable for all.
  • Global Education : Fostering cross-cultural awareness in schools cultivates tolerance, empathy, and a broader worldview among students.
  • Special Education : Tailoring teaching strategies to the needs of students with disabilities empowers them to achieve their full potential.
  • Motivation and Learning : Understanding motivational factors improves teaching methods and student engagement in the classroom.
  • Physical Education : Incorporating regular physical activity into the curriculum promotes not only fitness but also cognitive and emotional development.
  • Education and Employment : Analyzing the relationship between education levels and job prospects reveals the role of education in economic mobility.
  • Bilingual Education : Studying the effects of bilingual instruction on cognitive development highlights the benefits of multilingualism in education.
  • Gender Disparities in Education : Addressing gender biases in curricula and teaching practices contributes to more equitable educational experiences.
  • Teacher Training : Enhancing teacher preparation programs leads to more effective classroom management and student engagement.
  • Education and Social Media : Analyzing the impact of social media on students’ learning habits reveals new avenues for interactive and self-directed learning.
  • Education and Mental Health : Integrating mental health education into the curriculum helps reduce stigma and promotes students’ psychological well-being.
  • Education and Sustainability : Incorporating environmental education empowers students to become responsible stewards of the planet.
  • Literacy Development : Investigating early literacy interventions highlights the importance of foundational reading skills in later academic success.
  • Civic Education : Teaching civics fosters active participation in democratic processes and shapes informed and responsible citizens.
  • Education for Special Needs Students : Creating individualized education plans (IEPs) enhances the learning experience for students with diverse abilities.
  • Globalization and Education : Exploring how globalization affects educational policies and practices prepares students for a globalized world.
  • Education and Poverty : Investigating the link between education and poverty reduction underscores the role of education in breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
  • Character Education : Nurturing qualities like empathy, integrity, and resilience in students contributes to holistic personal and ethical development.
  • Standardized Curriculum vs. Personalized Learning : Evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of standardized versus personalized learning approaches in classrooms.
  • Education Technology Ethics : Examining the ethical implications of using student data in educational technology applications.
  • Education and Immigration : Studying the educational challenges and opportunities faced by immigrant students in host countries.
  • Critical Thinking Education : Integrating critical thinking skills into curricula prepares students to analyze and evaluate information independently.
  • Education and Cultural Heritage : Incorporating cultural heritage education preserves traditions and fosters cultural pride among students.
  • Education Funding Allocation : Investigating the impact of equitable distribution of funding on educational outcomes in different communities.
  • Education and Neurodiversity : Creating inclusive classrooms that accommodate neurodiverse students promotes a more accepting society.
  • Sexual Education : Implementing comprehensive sexual education equips students with vital knowledge for making informed decisions.
  • Education and Democracy : Understanding the role of education in nurturing informed citizenship and active participation in democratic processes.
  • Education and Indigenous Knowledge : Integrating indigenous knowledge systems into curricula honors diverse worldviews and promotes cultural understanding.
  • Home Schooling vs. Public Schooling : Comparing the academic and social outcomes of students educated at home versus traditional schools.
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning : Exploring the effectiveness of peer mentoring programs in enhancing students’ academic performance and social skills.
  • Education and Artificial Intelligence : Analyzing the potential of AI to personalize learning experiences and address individual student needs.
  • Vocational Education : Promoting vocational education as a viable pathway to skill development and successful career opportunities.
  • Education and Ethical Dilemmas : Investigating ethical challenges faced by educators and students in modern educational settings.
  • Education and LGBTQ+ Inclusivity : Creating safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ students through policy changes and awareness programs.
  • Education and Aging Population : Adapting educational strategies to meet the learning needs of an aging workforce.
  • Assessment Methods : Exploring innovative assessment techniques that provide a more comprehensive understanding of student learning.
  • Outdoor Education : Utilizing outdoor and experiential learning to enhance students’ practical skills and environmental awareness.
  • Education and Artificial Reality : Harnessing the potential of virtual and augmented reality in creating immersive educational experiences.
  • Emotional Intelligence in Education : Integrating emotional intelligence training in schools contributes to students’ interpersonal skills and emotional well-being.
  • Education and Gifted Students : Tailoring instruction to meet the unique learning needs of gifted students supports their intellectual growth.
  • Education and Nutrition : Recognizing the link between proper nutrition and cognitive development for optimal student learning.
  • Education and Language Acquisition : Examining strategies for effective language acquisition among non-native speakers in educational settings.
  • Education and Political Socialization : Investigating how education shapes students’ political beliefs and participation in civic activities.
  • Education and Political Socialization : Investigating how education shapes students’ political beliefs and participation in civic activities
  • Education and Digital Literacy : Evaluating the importance of teaching digital literacy skills to navigate the information-rich online world.
  • Teacher-Student Relationships : Investigating the impact of positive teacher-student relationships on academic motivation and achievement.
  • Education and Social Justice : Analyzing the role of education in addressing societal inequalities and promoting social justice.
  • Education and Multilingualism : Exploring the benefits of a multilingual approach in education for cognitive development and cultural awareness.
  • Education and Learning Disabilities : Implementing tailored strategies to support students with learning disabilities enhances their academic success.
  • Education and Environmental Awareness : Integrating environmental education fosters a generation of environmentally conscious citizens.
  • Education and Entrepreneurship : Promoting entrepreneurial education equips students with skills for innovation and economic contribution.
  • Student Engagement Strategies : Investigating effective methods to enhance student engagement and participation in the learning process.
  • Education and Artificial Intelligence Ethics : Examining ethical considerations when using AI in educational settings to ensure data privacy and equity.
  • Education and Emotional Well-being : Creating emotionally supportive environments positively impacts students’ mental health and academic performance.
  • Education and Cultural Assimilation : Analyzing how education can either preserve or dilute cultural heritage among immigrant communities.
  • Distance Learning Challenges : Exploring the challenges and benefits of distance learning, especially in the context of global events.
  • Education and Creativity : Fostering creative thinking skills in students through innovative teaching approaches and curricular design.
  • Education and Student Autonomy : Investigating the benefits of allowing students more autonomy in their learning processes.
  • Education and Gaming : Exploring the potential of educational games in enhancing learning outcomes and student engagement.
  • Teacher Burnout : Examining the factors contributing to teacher burnout and strategies to promote educator well-being.
  • Global Education Disparities : Analyzing the disparities in access to quality education across different regions of the world.
  • Education and Learning Styles : Tailoring instruction to accommodate diverse learning styles enhances students’ comprehension and retention.
  • Education and Brain Development : Studying the correlation between educational experiences and brain development in children and adolescents.
  • Education and Ethics Education : Integrating ethics education cultivates morally responsible decision-making among students.
  • Education and Socioeconomic Mobility : Examining how education can be a catalyst for upward social mobility in disadvantaged communities.
  • Education and Peer Influence : Investigating how peer interactions shape students’ attitudes, behaviors, and academic choices.
  • Education and Indigenous Language Revival : Promoting the revitalization of indigenous languages through education preserves cultural heritage.
  • Teacher Evaluation Methods : Exploring effective methods for evaluating teacher performance and their impact on educational quality.
  • Education and Critical Media Literacy : Developing media literacy skills equips students to critically analyze and navigate the digital information landscape.
  • Education and Online Privacy : Raising awareness about online privacy and digital citizenship in educational settings.
  • Education and Parental Expectations : Analyzing the effects of parental expectations on students’ academic motivation and achievements.
  • Education and Gender Stereotypes : Exploring how education can challenge or reinforce traditional gender stereotypes and roles.
  • Education and Mindfulness : Incorporating mindfulness practices in schools enhances students’ focus, emotional regulation, and well-being.
  • Education and Aging Workforce : Adapting teaching methods to address the unique learning needs of mature students in continuing education.
  • Education and Postcolonialism : Analyzing the influence of colonial history on education systems and curriculum development.
  • Education and Lifelong Learning : Promoting the idea of education as a continuous process that extends beyond formal schooling.

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Argumentative Essay

Education is the cornerstone of societal progress, and an argumentative essay thesis statement can explore its multifaceted impact. A thesis statement could be: “Mandatory financial literacy education in schools should be implemented to empower students with essential life skills, promoting responsible financial decision-making.

  • Mandatory Financial Literacy Education : “Mandatory financial literacy education in schools should be implemented to empower students with essential life skills, promoting responsible financial decision-making.”
  • Comprehensive Sex Education : “The integration of comprehensive sex education into curricula is imperative to address the rising rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.”
  • Bilingual Education : “Bilingual education programs positively contribute to cognitive development, cross-cultural understanding, and global communication skills among students.”
  • Diverse Perspectives in History Education : “The inclusion of diverse perspectives in history education fosters critical thinking and promotes a more accurate understanding of past events.”
  • Importance of Arts Education : “Arts education should remain a fundamental component of the curriculum, as it enhances creativity, cognitive abilities, and emotional intelligence.”
  • Media Literacy Education : “Promoting media literacy education equips students to navigate the complexities of the digital age, fostering critical analysis of information sources.”
  • Restorative Justice in Education : “Implementing restorative justice practices in schools nurtures conflict resolution skills, reduces disciplinary disparities, and creates a more inclusive learning environment.”
  • Environmental Education : “Environmental education cultivates a sense of responsibility for ecological sustainability, preparing students to address pressing global environmental challenges.”
  • Mental Health Education : “Education about mental health and emotional well-being should be integrated into curricula to reduce stigma, enhance self-awareness, and support student mental health.”
  • Coding and Computer Science Education : “Teaching coding and computer science in primary education enhances problem-solving abilities, technological literacy, and prepares students for a technology-driven future.”

Importance of Education Thesis Statement Examples

Highlighting the significance of education, a thesis statement like, “Access to quality education equips individuals with the tools to break the cycle of poverty, fosters critical thinking, and cultivates informed citizens essential for a thriving democracy.”

  • Access to Quality Education : “Access to quality education equips individuals with the tools to break the cycle of poverty, fosters critical thinking, and cultivates informed citizens essential for a thriving democracy.”
  • Education and Innovation : “Education empowers individuals to challenge societal norms, fostering innovation and progress through the exploration of new ideas and perspectives.”
  • Early Childhood Education : “Investing in early childhood education yields lifelong benefits, promoting cognitive development, emotional intelligence, and academic success.”
  • Education for Social Cohesion : “Education plays a pivotal role in promoting social cohesion, bridging cultural divides, and fostering mutual respect and understanding among diverse communities.”
  • Education and Economic Growth : “An educated workforce drives economic growth by fostering innovation, increasing productivity, and attracting investment in a knowledge-based economy.”
  • Empowerment through Education : “Education is the foundation of personal empowerment, enabling individuals to make informed decisions about their health, finances, and overall well-being.”
  • Education in a Technological Era : “Quality education equips individuals with the skills to adapt to rapid technological changes, ensuring they remain competitive in a dynamic job market.”
  • Education and Social Mobility : “Education serves as a catalyst for social mobility, enabling individuals to transcend their socioeconomic backgrounds and achieve upward mobility.”
  • Education and Public Health : “In societies with higher levels of education, there is a positive correlation with improved public health outcomes, lower crime rates, and overall well-being.”
  • Right to Education : “Education is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographical location.”

Lack of Education Thesis Statement Examples

Examining the consequences of inadequate education, a concise thesis statement might state: “The lack of accessible education perpetuates social inequality, limits economic mobility, and hinders personal and societal development, underscoring the urgent need for educational reforms.”

  • Impact of Inaccessible Education : “The lack of accessible education perpetuates social inequality, limits economic mobility, and hinders personal and societal development, underscoring the urgent need for educational reforms.”
  • Cycle of Poverty : “In regions with limited educational opportunities, there is a heightened risk of perpetuating cycles of poverty, resulting in diminished life prospects for generations.”
  • Lack of Comprehensive Sex Education : “The absence of comprehensive sex education contributes to uninformed decisions, leading to higher rates of unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.”
  • Educational Inequality and Civic Engagement : “Communities with inadequate educational infrastructure experience reduced civic engagement, hampering their ability to advocate for their rights and interests.”
  • Challenges in Special Needs Education : “Without inclusive education practices, students with disabilities are often marginalized, denying them opportunities for holistic development and societal contribution.”
  • Environmental Ignorance : “The lack of emphasis on environmental education results in a lack of awareness about sustainable practices, exacerbating environmental degradation and climate change.”
  • Mental Health Education Gap : “A dearth of education around mental health perpetuates stigma, preventing individuals from seeking help and contributing to a global mental health crisis.”
  • Gender Disparities in Education : “In societies where gender equity in education is not prioritized, women and girls face limited opportunities, reinforcing gender disparities in various sectors.”
  • Education and Ignorance : “Communities without access to quality education struggle to break free from cycles of ignorance and misinformation, hindering progress and social cohesion.”
  • Digital Literacy Divide : “The absence of education tailored to the digital age leaves individuals vulnerable to misinformation, cyber threats, and challenges presented by rapid technological advancements.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for College

For a college-focused context, a thesis could be: “Integrating practical skills training into higher education curricula prepares students for real-world challenges, bridging the gap between academic knowledge and employability.”

  • Practical Skills in Higher Education : “Integrating practical skills training into higher education curricula prepares students for real-world challenges, bridging the gap between academic knowledge and employability.”
  • Interdisciplinary Learning in College : “College education should prioritize interdisciplinary learning, fostering a holistic understanding of complex global issues and encouraging innovative solutions.”
  • Experiential Learning in College : “Promoting student engagement through experiential learning opportunities in college enhances critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and prepares students for lifelong learning.”
  • Soft Skills Development in College : “Colleges should emphasize the development of soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability, essential for success in diverse professional environments.”
  • Entrepreneurship Education in College : “Incorporating entrepreneurship education in college equips students with the mindset and skills needed to create and navigate their own career paths.”
  • Cultural Competence in College : “College education should encourage cultural competence, promoting empathy and understanding in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world.”
  • Technology-Enhanced Learning in College : “Embracing technology-enhanced learning methods in college empowers students to become digitally literate, adaptable, and well-prepared for the modern workforce.”
  • Research-Oriented College Education : “Fostering a research-oriented approach in college education cultivates critical inquiry, creativity, and advances our understanding of various academic disciplines.”
  • Mental Health Support in College : “Colleges should prioritize mental health and well-being services to support students during a transformative period, ensuring their holistic success.”
  • Flexible Learning in College : “Offering flexible learning options, including online and hybrid courses, accommodates diverse student needs and promotes lifelong learning beyond traditional campus settings.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Students

Directing attention to students, a thesis might read: “Implementing personalized learning approaches in schools caters to diverse learning styles, enhances student engagement, and fosters a lifelong love for learning.”

  • Personalized Learning for Students : “Implementing personalized learning approaches in schools caters to diverse learning styles, enhances student engagement, and fosters a lifelong love for learning.”
  • Student-Centered Education : “Student-centered education that encourages curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking nurtures independent thought and prepares students for active citizenship.”
  • Project-Based Learning for Students : “Incorporating project-based learning in schools develops problem-solving skills and empowers students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.”
  • Student Agency in Education : “Encouraging student agency in educational decisions fosters a sense of ownership, boosting motivation, and promoting self-directed learning.”
  • Learning from Failure for Students : “Education that emphasizes the value of failure as a stepping stone to success helps students develop resilience, adaptability, and a growth mindset.”
  • Collaborative Learning for Students : “Promoting collaborative learning experiences in classrooms cultivates teamwork skills, enhances communication, and exposes students to diverse perspectives.”
  • Extracurricular Involvement for Students : “Student involvement in extracurricular activities and community service fosters character development, empathy, and a sense of responsibility to society.”
  • Arts and Creative Expression for Students : “Integrating arts and creative expression into education sparks imagination, enhances emotional intelligence, and encourages students to think outside the box.”
  • Digital Literacy for Students : “Cultivating digital literacy skills equips students to navigate the digital landscape responsibly, critically evaluate information, and contribute positively online.”
  • Mindfulness in Education for Students : “Education that incorporates mindfulness and well-being practices helps students manage stress, build emotional resilience, and maintain overall mental wellness.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Essay

In the context of an essay, a case study thesis statement could be: “Exploring the evolution of educational technology reveals its role as a transformative force in modern classrooms, reshaping traditional teaching methods and enhancing student outcomes.”

  • Effective Study Habits : “Exploring effective study habits and time management strategies equips students with the tools to optimize their learning experience and achieve academic success.”
  • Role of Teachers in Student Motivation : “Analyzing the pivotal role of teachers in motivating students through innovative teaching methods and supportive mentorship enhances the learning journey.”
  • Educational Technology Integration : “Examining the integration of educational technology in classrooms highlights its potential to enhance engagement, collaboration, and personalized learning.”
  • Impact of Standardized Testing : “Investigating the impact of standardized testing on curriculum, instruction, and student stress provides insights into the complexities of assessment-driven education systems.”
  • Importance of Early Literacy : “Highlighting the significance of early literacy development in shaping future academic achievements emphasizes the need for targeted interventions and support.”
  • Holistic Assessment Approaches : “Exploring alternative assessment methods beyond exams, such as project-based assessments and portfolios, offers a comprehensive view of student learning.”
  • Cultural Competence in Education : “Analyzing the importance of cultural competence in educators for creating inclusive classrooms and fostering diverse student perspectives.”
  • Critical Thinking in Education : “Investigating the cultivation of critical thinking skills through interdisciplinary learning encourages students to question, analyze, and form independent viewpoints.”
  • Ethics Education : “Examining the integration of ethics education across disciplines prepares students to navigate ethical dilemmas and make informed moral decisions.”
  • Education and Sustainable Development : “Exploring the role of education in promoting sustainable development addresses its contribution to environmental awareness, social responsibility, and global citizenship.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples about Online Learning

Regarding online learning, a thesis might state: “The rapid expansion of online education presents opportunities for global access to quality learning, yet challenges persist in ensuring equitable access and maintaining educational rigor.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples about Online Learning:

  • Rise of Online Education : “The rapid expansion of online education presents opportunities for global access to quality learning, yet challenges persist in ensuring equitable access and maintaining educational rigor.”
  • Hybrid Learning Models : “Examining the effectiveness of hybrid learning models highlights the potential of combining online and in-person elements to enhance engagement and flexibility in education.”
  • Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Interactions : “Investigating the role of synchronous and asynchronous online interactions in virtual classrooms reveals their impact on student engagement, peer collaboration, and instructor feedback.”
  • Online Assessment Methods : “Analyzing the role of online assessments in measuring student performance raises questions about the fairness, security, and authenticity of remote evaluation methods.”
  • Digital Divide in Online Learning : “Exploring the digital divide’s impact on online learning access emphasizes the need for targeted interventions to bridge technological disparities among students.”
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) : “The rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) challenges traditional education paradigms by offering large-scale, accessible learning experiences to diverse global audiences.”
  • Artificial Intelligence in Online Education : “Examining the role of artificial intelligence in personalized online education sheds light on its potential to adapt content, pacing, and assessment to individual student needs.”
  • Virtual Communities and Online Learning : “Investigating the social aspects of online learning environments explores the ways virtual communities, discussions, and collaborations contribute to a sense of belonging.”
  • Online Simulations and Virtual Labs : “Analyzing the benefits of online simulations and virtual labs in science education showcases their role in providing experiential learning opportunities outside traditional labs.”
  • Long-Term Effects of Online Learning : “The exploration of online learning’s long-term effects on students’ social skills, time management, and self-regulation offers insights into the broader impacts of digital education.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Parental Involvement

Focusing on parental involvement, a thesis could be: “Active parental engagement in a child’s education significantly impacts academic performance, creating a collaborative learning environment and fostering holistic development.”

  • Active Parental Engagement : “Active parental engagement in a child’s education significantly impacts academic performance, creating a collaborative learning environment and fostering holistic development.”
  • Early Childhood Parental Involvement : “Investigating the influence of parental involvement in early childhood education emphasizes its role in shaping cognitive, emotional, and social foundations for lifelong learning.”
  • Parent-Teacher Partnerships : “Analyzing the impact of parent-teacher partnerships on student motivation and behavior management highlights the importance of consistent communication and shared goals.”
  • Parental Involvement in Remote Learning : “Exploring strategies to involve parents in remote and online learning environments addresses the need for adaptable approaches to maintain strong home-school connections.”
  • Parent-Led Initiatives in Schools : “Examining the impact of parent-led initiatives in schools reveals their potential to enhance school facilities, resources, and extracurricular opportunities for all students.”
  • Challenges of Parental Involvement : “Investigating the challenges faced by parents from diverse backgrounds in engaging with school activities emphasizes the importance of culturally sensitive communication and support.”
  • Parent Education Workshops : “Analyzing the role of parent education workshops in enhancing parenting skills, communication, and support systems contributes to positive student outcomes.”
  • Parental Involvement and Absenteeism : “Exploring the impact of parental involvement on reducing absenteeism, dropout rates, and disciplinary issues underscores its potential as a preventive measure.”
  • Parental Involvement in Curriculum Decisions : “Investigating the effects of parent participation in curriculum decisions and policy-making highlights their valuable insights and contributions to shaping educational priorities.”
  • Technology and Parental Involvement : “Exploring the intersection of technology and parental involvement unveils the potential of digital platforms to facilitate communication, updates, and collaboration between parents and educators.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Special Needs

Addressing special needs education, a thesis might read: “Inclusive education practices empower students with diverse abilities by providing tailored support, promoting social integration, and challenging stigmas surrounding disabilities.”

  • Inclusive Education Practices : “Inclusive education practices empower students with diverse abilities by providing tailored support, promoting social integration, and challenging stigmas surrounding disabilities.”
  • Assistive Technology in Special Education : “Examining the impact of assistive technology in special education classrooms showcases its role in enhancing communication, learning experiences, and independence for students.”
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) : “Analyzing the effectiveness of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) emphasizes their significance in providing personalized learning pathways for students with special needs.”
  • Parental Experiences in Special Education : “Exploring the experiences of parents of children with disabilities within the education system sheds light on the challenges they face and the importance of collaborative partnerships.”
  • Educator Training for Inclusive Classrooms : “Investigating the training and professional development needs of educators in inclusive classrooms addresses the necessity of equipping teachers with diverse teaching strategies.”
  • Peer Support Programs : “Analyzing the benefits of peer support programs in fostering positive relationships between students with and without disabilities underscores their role in promoting empathy and understanding.”
  • Accessible Learning Materials : “Examining the impact of accessible learning materials, such as Braille, a resources, and captioning, highlights their contribution to equitable educational experiences.”
  • Sensory-Friendly Environments : “Investigating the role of sensory-friendly environments in schools demonstrates their ability to create inclusive spaces that accommodate the needs of students with sensory sensitivities.”
  • Transition from School to Post-School Life : “Analyzing the transition process for students with special needs from school to post-school life underscores the importance of vocational training and community integration.”
  • Mental Health Support in Special Education : “Exploring the intersection of mental health support and special education reveals the need for comprehensive strategies that address the unique emotional needs of students with disabilities.”

Education Thesis Statement Examples for Gender Equity

Exploring gender equity in education, a thesis statement could be: “Implementing gender-sensitive policies and curriculum reforms is essential to eliminate gender disparities in education, empowering all students to fulfill their potential regardless of gender.

  • Gender-Sensitive Education : “Implementing gender-sensitive policies and curriculum reforms is essential to eliminate gender disparities in education, empowering all students to fulfill their potential regardless of gender.”
  • Gender Bias in Educational Materials : “Examining the impact of gender bias in textbooks and educational materials underscores the importance of representation and accurate portrayals of diverse gender identities.”
  • Gender-Responsive Pedagogy : “Analyzing the role of gender-responsive pedagogy in promoting equitable learning experiences challenges traditional teaching practices that perpetuate gender stereotypes.”
  • Teacher Expectations and Gender : “Exploring the influence of teacher expectations on student performance highlights the need to address unconscious biases that can hinder gender-equitable educational outcomes.”
  • Single-Sex Education vs. Coeducation : “Investigating the impact of single-sex education versus coeducation on academic achievement and personal development offers insights into the effects of different learning environments.”
  • LGBTQ+ Students in Educational Settings : “Analyzing the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in educational settings emphasizes the importance of creating safe, inclusive spaces that respect and celebrate diverse identities.”
  • Gender-Balanced Leadership : “Examining the impact of gender-balanced leadership and decision-making in schools addresses the need for role models and equitable representation at all levels of education.”
  • Gender-Based Violence Prevention in Schools : “Investigating the effects of gender-based violence prevention programs in schools emphasizes their role in fostering respectful relationships and safe learning environments.”
  • Parental Attitudes and Gender Roles : “Analyzing the influence of parental attitudes toward gender roles on children’s educational and career aspirations underscores the need for comprehensive family and community involvement.”
  • Culture, Gender Equity, and Education : “Exploring the intersection of cultural norms, gender equity, and education in diverse societies reveals the complex factors that shape educational opportunities and challenges for different genders.”

What is a Good Thesis Statement about the Lack of Education?

A strong thesis statement about the lack of education should succinctly capture the essence of the issue while outlining its significance and potential consequences. Here’s a guide to crafting a powerful thesis statement on this topic:

Example Thesis Statement: “The pervasive lack of accessible education in underserved communities perpetuates cycles of poverty, limits economic mobility, and hampers societal progress, necessitating urgent reforms to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all.”

  • Identify the Issue : Clearly state the problem you’re addressing – in this case, the lack of education.
  • Highlight Significance : Express why the issue matters by emphasizing its impact on individuals and society as a whole.
  • Show Consequences : Indicate the adverse effects of the lack of education, such as perpetuating poverty and hindering progress.
  • Mention Urgency : Communicate the importance of addressing the issue promptly, as well as the need for reform.

What is an Example of a Thesis Statement in Inclusive Education?

A thesis statement on inclusive education should emphasize the importance of creating learning environments that cater to diverse learners’ needs. Here’s a guide to crafting such a thesis statement:

Example Thesis Statement: “Inclusive education, through its emphasis on diverse learning styles, individualized support, and community engagement, fosters a holistic and equitable learning experience that empowers all students to reach their fullest potential.”

  • State Inclusion as a Goal : Clearly mention that the thesis is about inclusive education.
  • Highlight Diverse Learning Styles : Emphasize the importance of accommodating various learning styles and needs.
  • Emphasize Individualized Support : Stress the role of personalized assistance and adaptations in inclusive education.
  • Mention Community Engagement : Indicate how involving the community contributes to a successful inclusive education environment.
  • Discuss Empowerment : Express how inclusive education empowers all students to achieve their best outcomes.

How Do You Write a Thesis Statement for Education? – Step by Step Guide

  • Identify Your Topic : Determine the specific aspect of education you want to address.
  • Understand the Issue : Gain a deep understanding of the topic’s significance, challenges, and potential impact.
  • Craft a Clear Idea : Develop a concise and focused main idea or argument related to education.
  • Make It Debatable : Ensure your thesis statement presents an argument or perspective that can be debated or discussed.
  • Address Significance : Highlight why the topic is important and relevant in the context of education.
  • Consider Counterarguments : Acknowledge potential opposing viewpoints and consider incorporating counterarguments.
  • Keep It Concise : Your thesis statement should be a single, clear, and well-structured sentence.
  • Reflect Your Essay’s Scope : Make sure your thesis aligns with the scope of your essay or paper.
  • Revise and Refine : Review and revise your thesis statement to ensure its clarity and accuracy.
  • Seek Feedback : Share your thesis statement with peers or instructors for feedback and suggestions.

Tips for Writing a Thesis Statement on Education Topics

  • Be Specific : Clearly state what your paper will address within the broad topic of education.
  • Avoid Generalizations : Avoid overly broad or vague statements that lack focus.
  • Express a Strong Position : Your thesis should convey a clear stance on the issue.
  • Consider Your Audience : Tailor your thesis to resonate with your intended audience.
  • Use Precise Language : Choose words that convey your message concisely and accurately.
  • Make It Unique : Craft a thesis that sets your essay apart by presenting a unique perspective.
  • Reflect Your Essay Structure : Your thesis should mirror the overall structure of your essay.
  • Be Open to Revisions : Be willing to adjust your thesis as your research and writing progress.
  • Proofread Carefully : Ensure your thesis statement is free of grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Revise as Needed : It’s okay to revise your thesis as you refine your arguments and analysis.

Remember, a strong thesis statement sets the tone for your entire essay and guides your readers in understanding the focus and direction of your work. You may also be interested in our  thesis statement for informative essay .


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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

thesis statement for free college education

What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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25 Thesis Statement Examples

25 Thesis Statement Examples

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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thesis statement examples and definition, explained below

A thesis statement is needed in an essay or dissertation . There are multiple types of thesis statements – but generally we can divide them into expository and argumentative. An expository statement is a statement of fact (common in expository essays and process essays) while an argumentative statement is a statement of opinion (common in argumentative essays and dissertations). Below are examples of each.

Strong Thesis Statement Examples

school uniforms and dress codes, explained below

1. School Uniforms

“Mandatory school uniforms should be implemented in educational institutions as they promote a sense of equality, reduce distractions, and foster a focused and professional learning environment.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay or Debate

Read More: School Uniforms Pros and Cons

nature vs nurture examples and definition

2. Nature vs Nurture

“This essay will explore how both genetic inheritance and environmental factors equally contribute to shaping human behavior and personality.”

Best For: Compare and Contrast Essay

Read More: Nature vs Nurture Debate

American Dream Examples Definition

3. American Dream

“The American Dream, a symbol of opportunity and success, is increasingly elusive in today’s socio-economic landscape, revealing deeper inequalities in society.”

Best For: Persuasive Essay

Read More: What is the American Dream?

social media pros and cons

4. Social Media

“Social media has revolutionized communication and societal interactions, but it also presents significant challenges related to privacy, mental health, and misinformation.”

Best For: Expository Essay

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Social Media

types of globalization, explained below

5. Globalization

“Globalization has created a world more interconnected than ever before, yet it also amplifies economic disparities and cultural homogenization.”

Read More: Globalization Pros and Cons

urbanization example and definition

6. Urbanization

“Urbanization drives economic growth and social development, but it also poses unique challenges in sustainability and quality of life.”

Read More: Learn about Urbanization

immigration pros and cons, explained below

7. Immigration

“Immigration enriches receiving countries culturally and economically, outweighing any perceived social or economic burdens.”

Read More: Immigration Pros and Cons

cultural identity examples and definition, explained below

8. Cultural Identity

“In a globalized world, maintaining distinct cultural identities is crucial for preserving cultural diversity and fostering global understanding, despite the challenges of assimilation and homogenization.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay

Read More: Learn about Cultural Identity

technology examples and definition explained below

9. Technology

“Medical technologies in care institutions in Toronto has increased subjcetive outcomes for patients with chronic pain.”

Best For: Research Paper

capitalism examples and definition

10. Capitalism vs Socialism

“The debate between capitalism and socialism centers on balancing economic freedom and inequality, each presenting distinct approaches to resource distribution and social welfare.”

cultural heritage examples and definition

11. Cultural Heritage

“The preservation of cultural heritage is essential, not only for cultural identity but also for educating future generations, outweighing the arguments for modernization and commercialization.”

pseudoscience examples and definition, explained below

12. Pseudoscience

“Pseudoscience, characterized by a lack of empirical support, continues to influence public perception and decision-making, often at the expense of scientific credibility.”

Read More: Examples of Pseudoscience

free will examples and definition, explained below

13. Free Will

“The concept of free will is largely an illusion, with human behavior and decisions predominantly determined by biological and environmental factors.”

Read More: Do we have Free Will?

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

14. Gender Roles

“Traditional gender roles are outdated and harmful, restricting individual freedoms and perpetuating gender inequalities in modern society.”

Read More: What are Traditional Gender Roles?

work-life balance examples and definition, explained below

15. Work-Life Ballance

“The trend to online and distance work in the 2020s led to improved subjective feelings of work-life balance but simultaneously increased self-reported loneliness.”

Read More: Work-Life Balance Examples

universal healthcare pros and cons

16. Universal Healthcare

“Universal healthcare is a fundamental human right and the most effective system for ensuring health equity and societal well-being, outweighing concerns about government involvement and costs.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Universal Healthcare

raising minimum wage pros and cons

17. Minimum Wage

“The implementation of a fair minimum wage is vital for reducing economic inequality, yet it is often contentious due to its potential impact on businesses and employment rates.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage

homework pros and cons

18. Homework

“The homework provided throughout this semester has enabled me to achieve greater self-reflection, identify gaps in my knowledge, and reinforce those gaps through spaced repetition.”

Best For: Reflective Essay

Read More: Reasons Homework Should be Banned

charter schools vs public schools, explained below

19. Charter Schools

“Charter schools offer alternatives to traditional public education, promising innovation and choice but also raising questions about accountability and educational equity.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

internet pros and cons

20. Effects of the Internet

“The Internet has drastically reshaped human communication, access to information, and societal dynamics, generally with a net positive effect on society.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of the Internet

affirmative action example and definition, explained below

21. Affirmative Action

“Affirmative action is essential for rectifying historical injustices and achieving true meritocracy in education and employment, contrary to claims of reverse discrimination.”

Best For: Essay

Read More: Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

soft skills examples and definition, explained below

22. Soft Skills

“Soft skills, such as communication and empathy, are increasingly recognized as essential for success in the modern workforce, and therefore should be a strong focus at school and university level.”

Read More: Soft Skills Examples

moral panic definition examples

23. Moral Panic

“Moral panic, often fueled by media and cultural anxieties, can lead to exaggerated societal responses that sometimes overlook rational analysis and evidence.”

Read More: Moral Panic Examples

freedom of the press example and definition, explained below

24. Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is critical for democracy and informed citizenship, yet it faces challenges from censorship, media bias, and the proliferation of misinformation.”

Read More: Freedom of the Press Examples

mass media examples definition

25. Mass Media

“Mass media shapes public opinion and cultural norms, but its concentration of ownership and commercial interests raise concerns about bias and the quality of information.”

Best For: Critical Analysis

Read More: Mass Media Examples

Checklist: How to use your Thesis Statement

✅ Position: If your statement is for an argumentative or persuasive essay, or a dissertation, ensure it takes a clear stance on the topic. ✅ Specificity: It addresses a specific aspect of the topic, providing focus for the essay. ✅ Conciseness: Typically, a thesis statement is one to two sentences long. It should be concise, clear, and easily identifiable. ✅ Direction: The thesis statement guides the direction of the essay, providing a roadmap for the argument, narrative, or explanation. ✅ Evidence-based: While the thesis statement itself doesn’t include evidence, it sets up an argument that can be supported with evidence in the body of the essay. ✅ Placement: Generally, the thesis statement is placed at the end of the introduction of an essay.

Try These AI Prompts – Thesis Statement Generator!

One way to brainstorm thesis statements is to get AI to brainstorm some for you! Try this AI prompt:

💡 AI PROMPT FOR EXPOSITORY THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTUCTIONS]. I want you to create an expository thesis statement that doesn’t argue a position, but demonstrates depth of knowledge about the topic.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTRUCTIONS]. I want you to create an argumentative thesis statement that clearly takes a position on this issue.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR COMPARE AND CONTRAST THESIS STATEMENT I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that remain objective.


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While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis

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Developing Strong Thesis Statements

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The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution.

Another example of a debatable thesis statement:

In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy.

The thesis needs to be narrow

Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.

Example of a thesis that is too broad:

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way:

Narrowed debatable thesis 1:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

Narrowed debatable thesis 2:

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.

Qualifiers such as " typically ," " generally ," " usually ," or " on average " also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.

Types of claims

Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, or, in other words, what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic.

Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example:

Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example:

Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example:

Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper.


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    This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution implies that something is bad or negative in some way. Furthermore, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; they simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution is unambiguously good.