Free College Education! Just Not Here! – From the Archive – 2014


University of Freiburg

“Tuition fees are unjust,”

“They discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge”

Now who is this liberal, progressive, radical socialist, commie bastard who said that? Tell us so the Koch brothers can throw money at this insane idea!

Well sorry Koch brothers. The quote was by Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Senator in Hamburg, Germany

Yes my sorry ass future wage slaves – Germany officially rid itself of college and university tuition for all it’s students – even foreign ones!

Now it’s not exactly that German students were carrying such a big load of high tuition bills anyway – institutions of higher education only started charging fees in 2006. While state governments then began to charge €1,000 in response to a constitutional court decision that collecting fees didn’t breach Germany’s commitment to universal post-secondary education, many began to pressure the academic institutions that eventually led to the scrapping of tuition fees.

“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement.

I guess they don’t want to turn out wage slaves burdened with debt at 22 years old.

Imagine that! FREE college – in GERMANY!!

Free higher education is now a concept embraced by most of Europe with the noticeable exception of the U.K

Now why, in this land of the free, home of the brave, best country on earth, yadayadayada, can’t we do that here? We had it once – I went to a free university in New York City.

Well actually we can – without much fuss – if we had the political will.

High tuition fees in the U.S. have caused student loan debt, which stands at $1.2 trillion, to spiral out of control. It is now the second-highest form of consumer debt in the country.

“The U.S. as a whole could take a note from Germany and make public universities free with relative ease. The government spends around $69 billion subsidizing college education and another $107.4 billion on student loans. Tuition at all public universities comes to much less than that, around $62.6 billion in 2012. By restructuring the education budget, the cost of attending public universities could easily be brought down to zero. This would also put pressure on private universities to lower their cost in order to be more competitive.”

I mean what is the purpose of a “state” university if students in the state have to borrow exhorbitant amounts of money to attend it?

“Germans see their economy as a social market economy, that is, one that combines a capitalist mode of production with the belief that society should protect all its members from economic and social need. Such protection is provided by a system of social insurance to which people contribute according to their incomes with the understanding that they may someday need its assistance. The belief that society is responsible for the well-being of its members is a key concept of German social policy.”

At least for now, learning German might be the best financial choice an American high school student can make.

Next thing you know those Europeans will be spouting that universal health care is a human right!  Oh wait – they already have that.

Munich is really nice this time of year.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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17 Responses to Free College Education! Just Not Here! – From the Archive – 2014

  1. beetleypete says:

    The UK introducing tuition fees was a retrogade step, and scandalous in the extreme. It saddled working-class kids with £22,000 debt (including my own stepson) and the rich kids laughed it off. Victorian England, without need of a time machine.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ragnarsbhut says:

      Pete, I mean no insult with this comment, however, it seems to me that more often than not that college is a waste of time without some preconceived idea as to a career path that a college degree will help achieve.


  2. jfwknifton says:

    I was surprised to find out that “Tuition fees were first introduced in September 1998 under the Labour government of Tony Blair”

    Having said that, a 30 second google establishes that poor students do NOT pay fees. Details at

    “A low income scholarship, grant, or bursary is available to students whose family’s annual household income falls below a certain amount. These aim to ensure that finance isn’t a barrier for students from less affluent backgrounds to pursue higher education.”

    “Unsurprisingly, household income is the main factor when it comes to eligibility for a low income scholarship, bursary or grant.”

    “What ‘low income’ means can really vary from one university or college, to another. Usually this is anything below £25,000 or £30,000. However, this threshold could drop as low as £16,000, or be as high as £60,000, depending on where you’re applying to.”


  3. Anonymous says:

    HI jfw, Sounds like the UK system is much like we have here. Sure there are scholarships for lower income families but not nearly enough to keep the vast majority of middle class students out of heavy debt before they even have their first job.

    Over the period of a century and a half individual states set up “state universities” to educate the young of their state who couldn’t afford private college. Michigan State or Cal State for example. They are now elite schools who charge just as much as any worthy private school.

    Whats thepoint of a “state university” if the young residents cant afford to go?

    Best from Florida


  4. allenrizzi says:

    As one who worked two jobs all the way through three college degrees and a JD degree, I have little empathy for the “free everything” crowd. If you don’t have to work for something, its value is diminished. (Just my thoughts from one of the “old school” geezers.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yep…until the mid 1970s, I think, all City University of New York schools were free I believe. So the concept of free higher ed existed in the US, at a smaller scale. So it can be done and has been done here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ragnarsbhut says:

    Nothing in life is free.


    • toritto says:

      You’re right. And some things should be paid for by society at large. Like education. Once upon a time there were no public schools at all. Only the rich got a formal education.
      Today we saddle our children with mountainous debt before they get their first job.

      What is the purpose of a land grant state university if the young in the state cannot afford to go? Why do too many universities have multi billion dollar endowments? Why do other industrialized countries have free or nominal cost college education while we in the richest country in the world don’t do squat?
      I went to a free college and put my 2 daughters through fine universities withougsaddling them with debt. I could afford to; but with out a free college I my self could not have afforded to go.

      Any state university should be free or nearly so to the residents of that state


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