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How Does Germany Afford Free Tuition For All Of Its Citizens?


Last Year, Germany announced it was making its university system free. Given mounting college costs in America, ATTN: wanted to interview a higher education expert to learn whether any best practices could be applied domestically. We spoke with Mark Huelsman from the New York-based think tank Demos for answers. [...]

ATTN: Germany is making college free for all of its citizens. Is this really true?
Yes! More specifically, Germany – like the U.S. – is made up of states, and while most states had already done so, the lone holdout state (Lower Saxony) recently abolished tuition and fees for good. [...]

ATTN: Have US elected officials weighed in? What are they saying? Is there any chance this will happen here in the USA?
Don’t hold your breath that we will have tuition-free education anytime in the U.S. soon. But that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t have a more affordable and equitable system. [...]

At Demos, we’ve created a proposal for a new federal matching grant program that would provide states with incentives to reinvest in higher education to levels that once made it affordable, and to target funds at the students who most need them. Our goal is to return the U.S. to a system of primarily debt-free higher education (meaning, essentially that you could pay for college with a summer and/or part-time job), particularly for low-income and middle-class students.