Election season is full of promises made by politicians that they either have no intention of keeping or no way of keeping. During this election cycle, one of these most frequent promises made by candidates on the left has been the promise of free college, for everyone.

Yes, you read that right. Candidates such as Bernie Sanders want college to be free to all.

In theory, this sounds great. I know just as well as anyone how high tuitions are at both public and private schools around our great nation. College students and millennials, who are drowning in student loans, look to these promises with eager eyes and hearts full of hope. The sad reality is that these hopes will be never come to fulfillment.

Candidates from either side can promise free college all they want, but it simply isn’t going to happen.  Finances aside, the institutionalized nature of our college and universities around the country are simply not conducive to such a radical idea. And if we only extended this “free college” promise to public schools, what kind of downward trend in educational experiences would we see on the state and local levels?

The idea of free college is a great one. The problem is that nothing is truly free. Someone would be paying for that college. It would be our parents, our generation, our children, and ultimately, our education system.

I have no delusions about the cost of college. What candidates on both sides need to start doing is talking about reforming the student loan programs and offering better scholarships to high-achieving students who will pay that back ten-fold in their service to our country and our economy. Candidates need to stop making this empty promise of free college to lure in young voters and start promising something they could bring to the table, whether it be lower tuition, student loan reform, or jobs that will be waiting for us when we graduate from these expensive colleges.