Mr/Mrs Future President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Dear Mr/Mrs Future President of the United States,
As a sophomore in highschool, I am starting to receive emails and cards in the mail from various colleges. People are already beginning to ask me what my plans for college are and my interests for life after high school. Fellow classmates of mine are also getting inquiries from family members, school officials, and colleges who are inquiring about their future plans. My mind is already torn about what field I want to go into, but I am also starting to think about the thousands and thousands of dollars I'm going to have to spend, and it causing me a headache. How am I supposed to cover all those costs, and how much debt will I have to carry? Will the loans be worth it? The cost of a college education in the United States must decrease, because the high prices are preventing students from attending, and also forcing those who do attend to drown in debt, delaying later life events.
Intimidatingly high costs prevent many students from applying to and enrolling in college. Many financially strained parents are concerned about how to pay for their children's college education. According to Chris Pamphrey and his research, only 66% of students with financially hesitant parents applied for college, compared to a 90% application rate for those whose parents weren't financially concerned. There was a 24% increase when parents had confidence about their ability to cover the cost. Harvard, for example, has increased tuition by seventeen times since 1971, now pricing at $45,278 per year, a crazy increase that's very difficult for the average American family to cover. Although I would say my family is more financially stable than the average American family, college tuition will still be daunting, and will definitely be a critical factor when I choose where I want to apply. If tuition rates are lowered, financial confidence will increase and more students will apply and enroll.
Many students drown in debt post college, due to the huge amount of money they need to borrow to pay for college. In the last 50 years, college costs have skyrocketed causing students to get buried in debt when trying to pay for college. In 1972, a private, nonprofit college, on average, costed $1,832 per year, but as of recently, the same colleges cost $31,231, an insane increase. The high price needed to attend college is forcing students to borrow money, and go into great debt. According to John Schoen, 1.2 trillion is the total level of collective college debt all students are in. One Hundred billion dollars a year is said to be borrowed to support the cottage industry. These dollar amounts are difficult to comprehend, and must be changed. Since college tuition rates are exceptionally higher than ever before, debts are reaching a record high also.
Many opposing views support the sentiment that college should continue to rise. Their reasoning is because students who get a degree after college, should be able to pay off their debt with the salary their job provides. Although commonly believed, often this is not the case. And not only that, but there are many repercussions because of the debt students take on. Frequently, students salaries do not exceed the loan amount they must pay to cover their debts. Therefore, according to John Schoen, because graduates have huge debt hanging over their head after college, they delay buying their first home, getting married, and starting a family. This has far reaching impact on the economy, culture, and our socio economic eco system. It is of utmost importance college prices decline because with keeping them at current levels, it not only affects population rates, but the broader economy too.
In order to raise the percentage of college attendees, lessen debt rates, and prevent the delay of important life events, college costs in the US must decline. Since free college is unrealistic and impossible, and keeping college at the same rate is detrimental to society and students, lowering costs is what needs to be done. A big driver of high tuition cost is in the athletics and the arts programs. Having unique, customized tuition costs per student that vary depending on extracurricular involvement, would help because it would cost more for those involved athletically and with the arts, but not for those who aren't, making cost allocation more fair. Also, universities and colleges could experiment with paying college professors less, to lower costs. Another movement that could be made to benefit students and their families who struggle financially is for the government to give special aid to those who need serious financial help. And more importantly, where some programs like this already exist, force more clear information into the homes of families who could most benefit. With these few adjustments in tuition and financial assistance, debt will decrease, enrollments will increase, and the economy overall will benefit.
Thank you for your time reviewing my thoughts and considering my suggestions.