Megan Cella California

The Cost of College: What Can You Do For Us?

As Future President, how will you help students receive a higher education?

Dear Future President,

As many high school juniors have, I have begun to think about furthering my education in college. However, for many students in the same situation, this is not an option simply due to the high cost of receiving a college education. This issue has affected many families around the country and has grown to be a larger problem as more and more students apply to colleges and universities each year. My question to you as the next president of the United States is what can you do to help lower the amount of money needed to attend public colleges and assist those who cannot provide this for themselves?

College students are expected to pay for for on-campus living space, books, classes, tests, meal plans, and other expenses on top of overall tuition. This can add up to thousands of dollars per year, money which they can’t earn on their own without first getting a degree to get a job. That seems like very circular logic if you ask me. When tuition, fees, and housing at private colleges adds up to an average of $39,173 and the mean household income is $51,939 a large number of students may not be able to afford the education they deserve. Many schools offer financial aid to students who struggle with paying for their education, but this assistance isn’t always substantial to get the student through school because expenses are still extremely high. As a result of these costs, 44 million adults in America continue to pay off student loans many years after their graduation, even while having higher paying jobs they received as a result of their college education. Over the past eight years, student loan debt has increased by nearly 300 percent! In a society where people are expected to get a college education in order to be successful, wouldn’t it be more practical to pay less for it? If students were expected to pay a smaller amount of money to attend colleges, the attendance rates would increase, leading to more educated workers and in turn a greater household income. This would also allow more students to enroll in colleges. Great things can be accomplished with more people going to colleges, think of the possibilities! If financially supporting students through college was not previously on your agenda, I sincerely hope it will be soon.

As the leader of a nation as powerful as the United States, handling the financial needs and welfare of the people should be a much discussed topic of interest in your future term. The issue of college costs affects both economic and educational aspects of our country, hopefully raising your interest in its management. To see a problem of this magnitude resolved would mean great things for the American lifestyle. As the future president of our country, how do you plan to help our students thrive?