Brian R. New Jersey

College Tuition

College Tuition

Brian Renna

West MIlford Twp. High School

67 Highlander Drive

West MIlford, NJ 07480

November 3, 2016

Future President at the White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Dear Future President:

Hello Future President, my name is Brian Renna and I am a 9th grader, I go to West Milford HIgh School in West Milford. In my social studies class we are writing letters to the future president about a topic that we think is important to us and should be fixed in America. I am writing to you about the cost of college tuition and how the price was in the past and and how high it will be in the future.

Over the past 35 years the cost of a public university has nearly quadrupled in price and still is rising. In 1974 the price for a private university was $2,000, as of 2015 a private university costs nearly over $10,300. Reading an article by the NY Times, I have found that private for profit colleges seem more like scams, they’ll take your money and government fundings to offer the student a degree worth almost nothing. I have also found that many students who go to these colleges drop out mostly because of debt leaving taxpayers to pay the rest of the bill. Within 35 years the cost of college went from be able to go, to just barely being able to go.

In a different New York Times article experts are saying that main reason college tuition is so high is because of funding cuts. Sandy Baum of the Urban Institute said “It’s not that colleges are spending more money to educate students, it’s that they have to get that money from someplace to replace their lost state funding - and that’s from tuition and fees from students and families.” Another cause of of high tuition costs would be the sharp rise in the percentage of Americans who go to college. In the last 20 years the percentage of the population enrolled in college has risen significantly. Enrollment in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs has increased by almost 50 percent since 1995.

With recent recent graduates owing an average of $35,200 in student debt and incomes remaining still, many Americans wonder whether going to college was worth the cost. Many students decide to pursue a two-year degree to avoid high tuition. This might sound like a great idea but in reality they might lack the necessary skills for many better-paying jobs. Many poor families have to deal with this problem and the students are affected by this problem. What could be done about these effects is to give somewhat of a higher education at a community college, I read in a Our Everyday Life article.

In an Inside Higher Ed. article Grey Gordon an assistant professor at Indiana University says “You’ve got to somehow tie aid to lowered tuition if you want to give money to students.” David Feldman says “Increasing federal aid will rarely change how high a college sets its tuition. There have been many ideas on how to fix the problem of high tuition costs such as: college plans, free college costs and even to cut the Department of Education way down. DOnald Trump says he will cut the Department of Education “way, way, way down.” Scott Walker Governor of Wisconsin successfully cut $250 million from Wisconsin’s budget for higher education. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have all announced plans to increase federal funding for college, if elected.

What I hope you will do as the next president of the United States is to lower the cost of college tuition to help poorer families to get their kids to college. For young adults from educated, middle-class families - the people who will find a way to get through college despite the costs - rising college tuition is a personal challenge. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.


Brian Renna

Student, West Milford High School