How much does tuition-free college cost in the USA?

In recent weeks, several colleges and universities in the United States announced that they are going to offer tuition-free courses. One example is the University of Texas, where students from families with yearly earnings of less than sixty-five thousand USD will be able to enroll in undergraduate courses for free. 

However, to provide this free education, the University of Texas has to get funding from another investor. 

The Department of Education is often researching the cost of education around the United States, and according to their most recent report, a free public college education will cost about eighty billion dollars per (USD79bn) year.

What does tuition-free mean?

While the term tuition-free almost makes it seem like there will be no costs involved in a four-year higher education course, this is not the case.

What the University of Texas does is it removes all fees regarding the course itself. However, students will still have to pay for travel, accommodation, and living costs. This means that education will just cost less, and will not, in fact, be absolutely free.

According to statistics, the cost of living for students in Boston can reach three thousand dollars (USD3000) per month. The cost of living for the whole duration of a four-year degree will thus turn out to be around a hundred and twenty thousand dollars (USD 120,000).

Considering that these averages may not always include the money spent on travel and accommodation, a four-year college degree remains a pretty significant investment. Thus tuition-free does not mean free; it just means cheaper.