Dear Next President,
Every year, more and more people struggle with the problem of how they will pay for higher education. There are very few people that do not attend college that end up with a successful career. However, the cost of higher education is on the rise making it harder for people to actually attend college. We need to lower the cost to allow those who come from a financially unstable household are also given the opportunity. If the cost of higher education is lowered, the employment rate will rise causing everything else to rise with it.
Growing up, I saw the cost of higher education issue first hand. My mom first studied business and went on to get her Masters Degree in teaching. My mom has two degrees, double the degrees of some, but had to deal with paying for student loans almost fifteen years after she graduated from college. From this I saw how long it took to pay off an education that would be the base of her adult life. Something that seems to be required in today’s society, yet it costs more than many can afford.
According to the data from the Annual Survey of Colleges, in 2010, the cost of a private nonprofit four year college was $36,465 per year. Also stated in the data from the Annual Survey of Colleges, in 2015, the cost of a private nonprofit four year college was $43,921 (both numbers include tuition plus room and board). These two pieces of data help to show that the price of college tuition is on the rise. With this being the case, many families cannot afford to send their children to college. This becomes an issue when our employment rate is so low because jobs that do not need an education will be taken and those without education and a job will have to file for unemployment. For example, to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers all require a degree. If the cost of higher education continues to rise, not as many people will be able to go to school to get jobs in certain fields. Within the past 5 years the price of college tuition plus room and board has increased by $7,456. In the past, people did not attend college because they pursued careers that paid the bills. Years later and the same thing is still going on. Many people have enough money to pay their bills let alone pay for college and student loans on top of that. As costs are constantly on the rise, it is becoming more and more crucial to have a higher paying job.
In the article “The Rising Price of of Higher Education” by William Trombley, it states that at least sixteen states are considering or already have had mid year budget cuts and/or tuition increase. We see this increase across the board, from public state schools to private schools. This is frustrating. Not only are families paying more for tuition, but if the tuition is increasing and budget cuts are taking place, it means that many are paying higher prices for a higher education that is lacking in quality. Budget cuts mean less money for research and less going towards to newest technology.
According to the article “Colleges Slash Tuition to Eliminate Sticker Shock” by Laura Camera, from 2009 to 2012 the percentage of families ruling out college due to tuition costs rose from 53% to 69%. This shows that many students may have to get rid of their top choice because of financial reasons. These families are forced to eliminate options that might be where their child fits best. For some, a private college may be the best fit for them, but because of the costs it may not be possible for them to attend there, causing them to get rid of where they really want to go. When applying for colleges, you should be able to browse options with a clear mind and not be worried about the price of tuition. By moving from “high price, high discount” to “low cost, low discount” it gives more and more people the chance to attend college. In the article, Utica College is mentioned. Utica College is a little more than an hour away from Gloversville, NY, a city in upstate New York. Seeing colleges so close to home lower their tuition price by almost half, personally makes me believe that one day all colleges will be obtainable for most middle class families. But for now, the cost of higher education is on the rise and unobtainable for students. However, in the article “The Rising Price of of Higher Education” by William Trombley, it states that at least sixteen states are considering or already have had mid year budget cuts and/or tuition increase.
Mr. President, by lowering the costs of higher education we are not only allowing many more to pursue higher paying careers, but also giving them the opportunity to do something large in life. Everyone deserves the chance at a higher education, cost should not be the factor setting them apart from their dreams.