The monetary cost of attending a modern college, university, or other institute of higher learning can often be prohibitively high. Tuition fees in the United States, for example, averaged $10,000-$38,000 per year (US$) in 2021-22, with many private universities exceeding $50,000. Housing and living expenses add to that total. Grants and scholarships can help offset tuition costs, but typically fall short. As a result, many students—particularly minorities, who earn a disproportionately low income in many countries—cannot afford to attend college. Those students who do attend must often take out massive student loans, saddling themselves with significant debt that can take decades to repay.
To address these concerns, a number of countries have made college/university tuition free for their citizens. In these systems, higher education is available to most students at little to no cost (often requiring only a small administrative fee) regardless of limiting factors such as income level or social status. Most of these countries are developed nations and many are democratic socialist states in which the government also provides other essential services such as universal or single payer health care.
USA benefited from the highly educated Europeans that immigrated to USA after WW2. Now all these people are dead and their children and grandchildren are struggling to get similar college education in the USA. Are we behind in the education of the young people in this country?