Holly R. California

Skyrocketing tuition costs

In the last 35 years, the cost of college tuition has increased over 1,000%. Making loans more affordable is a good start, but if the rising cost of tuition is not capped, the problem will expand.

Madam. President, 

When President Bill Clinton passed the Student Loan Reform Act in 1993, it was hoped that the costs of higher education would be made more affordable. Since the Republican Congress privatized the direct federal loan program envisioned by Clinton in 1994, students who have taken out these private loans have been subject to predatory lending practices.

But even if you, as President, can pass legislation to control interests rates on student loans or the refinancing of current loans, can you make states pay more to help subsidize higher education as they did in the past?

In 1975, states were contributing about 58% of the total cost of public higher education. Nationally, that has fallen to 37%. The public college my mom attended in California has gone from 54% state funded to 23% state funded. Tuition continues to skyrocket to make up the difference from the lack of state funding. Making loans easier to get has let more people go to college, but with more people going to college, the schools have expanded their administrations and used an increase in tuition to pay for it.

Since 1978, the price of college tuition has increased by more than 1,000%. In that same time, the cost of housing and food has only increased 300%.

I live in a city where the cost of living is 2.5 times the national average. My parents make more than your maximum guarantee for free tuition, but not by much and we’re just getting by in this city.

If schools raise tuition for the families who don’t get it for free, it means I won’t be able to afford to go. I’ll be taking out student loans now to get through and have already been taking classes at the community college. However, I’ll still be forced to borrow. What will you do if the colleges increase tuition again?

My brother is younger and wants to go to a private art school. The Pell Grants won’t come close to the tuition costs. What can you do to help him?

I read in the New York Times that if cars had increased in price over the last 35 years like college has, the average car price would be $80,000. That’s not happening. So why is it happening to college tuition and what can you do to stop it?


Holly R.