We wanted a free college revolution and we may be on track to getting one in 2016

Posted by Maica Pichler on August 19, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Our cause is gaining momentum: the free college tuition movement has taken the media by storm!

Just this past week Hilary Clinton unveiled her much anticipated plan for reforming how we pay for college.[1]  A Democratic front runner, Clinton’s proposal uses Federal incentives to get states to reinvest into higher education.  And Bernie Sanders has been able to keep a constant presence in the media, always touting free college education as one of his central platforms.

And it’s not just the Democrats who are open and vocal about this paramount issue; Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio wants to reform how students pay back loans, and he wants schools to disclose to students how much they can potentially earn before enrolling.

As a first generation, working class, son-of-immigrants, college graduate, this issue is of the upmost importance to me. I’m a working class guy who beat the odds and got a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. But to do that, I had to take out student loans. Although I’m proud of my achievement, I did not expect how pervasive and overwhelming and concrete this anxiety would be that comes with student debt.

Like many Americans before me, I was bestowed with a mission to work for a better life than my parents had, or any ancestor for that fact. But I had no idea that the economic price would be so staggering. And I’m not alone.

The total amount of student debt is currently $1.2 trillion dollars, a debt amount second only to mortgages.[2] Millions have defaulted on those loans, and millions more struggle to keep up with the payments. Currently, 65% of that debt is held by Americans 39 and younger, and Millennials make a big chunk of that.

The implications of this will have long term demographic and economic effects: Millennials will delay marriage and put off having kids for lacking the resources to provide them with the same standard of living as they had.

College is, has been, and will continue to be the gateway to the middle class, so it is vital that we reform how we pay for college if we want to keep this middle class nexus open and accessible to all, especially those who need it the most.

Luckily, from local news outlets to presidential candidates, Americans can’t stop talking about making college affordable. That’s why I wrote about the 2016 presidential election and the affordable college movement.

Millennials’ concerns regarding higher education will have to be addressed by candidates from either party that hope to be viable candidates in the general election. And, so far, nearly every candidate has already spoken on the issue to some degree.

Put simply, our movement is paying off. We wanted a free college revolution and we may be on track to getting one.

With your help, we can continue our important, necessary, and vital work by making sure that #FreeCollegeTuition remains a part of the conversation!

Let’s do this together,


We can't do this alone!

Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.

We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.

If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.

The Campaign for Free College Tuition is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in the State of Washington in 2014 to educate parents, students, the higher education community, policy makers and taxpayers about efforts needed to fundamentally reform our nation’s system for financing higher education. This website and CFCT’s educational outreach activities are made possible through generous individual and foundation support.