The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Why should I pay for others’ education?

First lady Jill Biden arrives for a visit to Sauk Valley Community College, in Dixon, Ill., on April 19. (Pool/Reuters)

Regarding Jen Balderama’s May 3 op-ed, “Community college saved me. Biden is right: It should be free.,” and the May 9 responses, “Community college saved these lives, too” [Sunday Opinion]:

Both articles are impressive, and the writers obviously were able to achieve success through attending community colleges. The costs to the writers were modest: $9 to $13 per credit hour. Ms. Balderama even felt $13 per credit hour was “manageable on barista pay.”

However, I see no connection between their success and making community college “free.” Through a series of jobs, a scholarship and my parents’ assistance, I was able to earn a bachelor’s degree. I was also able to finance college tuition for both of my children.

But, so far, no one has been able to adequately explain to me why I must pay to educate anyone else for “free.” I paid college tuition for three; I should not be compelled to pay for anyone else’s education.

Terry J. Harbonic, Germantown

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