Matthew S. California

The Struggle among the 99 percent

With college tuition being so high, the struggle to afford a college education is as big as ever

Dear Future President,

As a high school senior I know a thing or two about how college works and how much it costs. As I began to apply for colleges, it was hard to ignore the fact that college is very expensive. As I talk to friends about college, the majority of them talk about applying for financial aid, or trying to get a scholarship. Nearly every high school student is talking about financial aid and scholarships when being asked about college, which is the first indication that the cost to go to college is too high for many students and families to handle.

Many students miss out on the opportunity to attend a four year university because the cost of college is so high. According to a study done by the Huffington Post, about twelve percent of high school seniors do not attend college after high school. The majority of these twelve percent do not go because of the cost. The average cost of going to a public school in state is still 9,500 dollars, not including the debt that students will have to pay back after college. Many seniors cannot afford to go to college even before debt is taken into consideration. When the topic of student debt is introduced, the numbers are even more shocking. The average amount of student debt for Americans is 30,100 dollars. In addition, seven out of every ten students, or seventy percent, leave college with debts to pay back.

Speaking from personal experience, I have two older cousins who’ve both been to college and I have seen what they have had to do to afford colleges. Most recently, my cousin who is one year older than me had to apply for numerous scholarships and financial aid to afford college. She is not from a lower class family either, but because the cost of college is so expensive, they have to do whatever they can to get help in order to afford college. It's not just the lower class that is struggling to pay for college, it is the middle class as well as the lower class that is struggling to pay for college. The upper class is one percent of the country's population and can afford to go to college. That leaves ninety nine percent of the population, an overwhelming majority, to struggle to get into college.

I ask now that the necessary steps be taken to ensure that more Americans can go to college without having to go into deep financial debt after receiving their education. The cost of college must be reduced to an affordable price for all families. When ninety nine percent of the population is in need of financial aid and student loans, it becomes clear that the problem has been blown out of proportion.