Urban Institute: "Free College" Does Not Eliminate Student Debt


Urban: Free college might have a smaller impact on student debt than many expect

Almost one-quarter of students who earned bachelor’s degrees from public colleges and universities in 2015–16 attended for “free”—their full tuition and fee price was covered by grant aid—in their final year. (The share of public four-year college students paying zero tuition and fees is highest for first-year students and lowest for those in their final year.) Yet, two-thirds of these students graduated with debt.