Dear future President,
I’m asking that you take the time to think about the looming issue of the ever-growing college tuition costs. This issue affects many high school graduates wanting and needing to go to college to get the job they want. This being something I know will impact myself, my friends, and many other students, between the ages of 16-18, across the country that will have to go to college to get the career they want and strive to achieve.
College tuition needs to be set at a more reasonable price because many successful students can’t afford to go to a superior college. Students who do well in school tend to have to rely on scholarships and student loans to get through college. “Grants and loans are the major forms of federal financial aid for degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students”(Fast Facts: Financial Aid). It can be hard to get scholarships and even then not all deserving students get scholarships. These students are able to take out loans. But student loans can take years to pay off, as they gain interest. “The average college student graduated with $28,950 in debt in 2014. Based on current projections by One Wisconsin Institute, a nonprofit organization that conducts research on student loan debt, it will take 21 years or so to repay this amount.” The cost and length of paying off loan debt can discourage many students from going to college.
It would be beneficial to have a lower college tuition because it would allow more students to go to college. This is especially important in our society today because many jobs require one to have a college degree. “35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree; 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree; 36 percent of the job openings will not require education beyond high school.” If 30% of jobs require a basic college degree and 35% require a bachelor’s degree that’s 65% of professions that require a degree that must be obtained through college. Some may say, “There’s still 35% of jobs that don’t need a college degree, those that don’t go to college can just get those jobs.” While that is true many of these jobs aren’t great. They’re jobs like working in fast food and retail, jobs that don’t really pay well. “But you could just go to a community college for a lower tuition and get a degree there,” one might say. That’s also true but if a business is going through applications for a job opening they’re more likely to pick a person that went to a more credible or prestigious college than someone who went to community college. If someone wants a more successful job they’re more likely to succeed at a university or private college, over attending a community college.
Many students work very hard to be able to have good grades, be involved in sports, and after school clubs just so they will have a better shot at being accepted into a good college. But, they get accepted only to have to pay a large amount of money to be able to go to that college. This is unfair to these students because not only have they had to work very hard to go to college they also have to pay a lot, while another student could just go to the college by paying a large amount of money. If students are accepted into colleges based on grades and extracurriculars they shouldn’t have to pay as much. Then if students who want to go to college but don’t have the qualifications to be accepted they can pay a higher price to go.
The average cost is $13,856 and our median income is $26,990, that means we pay a little over half of our income for college! This is completely outrageous compared to the amount other countries pay. The Netherlands pay $3,125 on average for tuition with a median income of $28,032, they only pay 11-12% of their average income on college. That’s just one example of another country with a lower college cost and higher average income, Denmark’s average income is close to ours as $26,623 with a much lower college tuition of $596. These stats make the amount we pay for college seem especially ridiculous. It also shows that it would be possible to lower college tuition. Something you could do by setting price limits. If colleges are still worried about not being able to have the environment they want with lower costs, they could simply become more selective with who they accept into their courses. But it is unfair to determine who can go to a college based on whether or not they can afford it.