Emma S. Virginia

Cost of College

College tuition prices are too high.

Dear President,

I’m writing to you today to talk about a serious issue that relates to tons of people across the country; the extremely high prices of college tuition. Many young adults and parents of students are struggling to pay these high rates, and most are left with the burden of paying thousands of dollars in student loans. Teenagers are very pressured into thinking college is the only way they will be successful in life, and many choose the route of higher education after high school. This leaves us with tons of young adults, just starting to figure out their life, going straight into debt.

Personally, one day I would like to go to college to help me pursue the career I want; and my younger brother will most likely also want to attend college after high school. That leaves my parents to save up and pay for two college tuitions, something nearly impossible with today’s insane rates. I’ve began saving up my own money to try and help pay for these expenses when the time comes, something I shouldn’t have to worry about at this age. Some friends of mine have already started their college careers, and one of my friends in particular struggled with finding financial aid to help with the costs. It really broke my heart to watch her apply for scholarship after scholarship, only to end up not being able to qualify for one.

In the past couple of years, college costs, the amount of student loans, and inflation rates have skyrocketed. In “Higher Education,” Charu Kukreja states that, “about 40 million Americans - up from 29 million in 2008 - are currently paying off student loans” and on average, they owe about $29,000. That’s a ton of money for a student who’s straight out of college to pay off; and it ends up becoming a huge burden for them. Those graduates should be deciding what they’re going to do next in their life, not worrying about debts from school. According to the article, “The Real Cost of Higher Education,” tuition rates grew 2.9% in public colleges and 3.7% in private universities. Those rates are higher than the increase in both the general inflation rate and the increase in personal income. Now, if the tuition rates are growing faster than the personal income rates, how can we be expected to pay them? The average person cannot afford these increasing costs.

As you know, the cost of college also depends on a number of other things. While at college, students have other additional expenses; like housing and food, necessities to their everyday life. Students also have to spend money on textbooks that are required and very overpriced. Over the course of a semester or year these expenses can add up. Colleges need to understand that students have other financial responsibilities while attending their universities. The cost of attending college also depends on how long the students are planning on going to college and where. Out of state tuition costs a large amount more than in state tuition, which limits the options for some people. In a study done by Bigfuture, it was found that an in state four-year college is approximately $14,000 less than a four-year out of state college. The price gap between in state and out of state colleges should be smaller, to give students the opportunity to explore their options and not be limited due to their financial situations.

I don’t know who else would be more fit to fix this issue than the President of the United States. Maybe the answer to the problem is new financial aid programs, where the students don’t have to pay the money back and don’t end up buried in student loans. Maybe more tax dollars can be put into lowering the tuition costs. Other politicians have suggested tax breaks for working students and free public colleges. No matter what policy is chosen to help this issue, as long as the problem is fixed I’m sure many people would be grateful. This national issue needs to be reversed because as college costs keep growing, the economic opportunities for people keep shrinking.


Emma S.

Works Cited

Kukreja, Charu. "Higher Education." KQED News. KQED Inc., 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

Smith, Myra. “College Costs: FAQs.” Bigfuture. The College Board, 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

“The Real Cost of Higher Education.” Saving for College. Saving for College LLC, 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

James Wood High School

Concerned Colonels

Letters to the Next President by James Wood High's AP English 11 students

All letters from this group →