Free college is true American history, Bernie Sanders insists
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Bernie Sanders said in New Hampshire that his call for free tuition at public colleges and universities shouldn’t seem out of step: "Making public colleges and universities tuition-free, that exists in countries all over the world, used to exist in the United States," the Democratic presidential hopeful and Vermont senator said.
PolitiFact Florida’s Amy Sherman dug into tuition history.
Among her findings:
--In 2013-14, according to a 2015 report from the Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey each required no college tuition; the Nordic countries level high income-tax rates.
--U.S. experts advised that some American institutions once charged no tuition. "Public colleges and universities were often free at their founding in the United States," a Cornell University professor, Ronald Gordon Ehrenberg, said, "but over time, as public support was reduced or not increased sufficiently to compensate for their growth in students and costs (faculty and staff salaries, utilities etc.), they moved first to a low tuition and eventually higher tuition policy."
--A private Texas university offered free tuition for decades: Rice Institute, which became Houston’s prized Rice University, charged tuition for the first time in 1965.