Dear Next President,
Congratulations! It’s a new year and a new leader. I have some concerning issues to address with you and I’d appreciate your undivided attention. The main concern of mine would be the price of College Tuition these days. It is outrageous and too expensive. After decades of expanding enrollments, applications have begun tapering off. College enrollment peaked in 2011. With millions of recent debt-burdened college graduates still underemployed by one of the worst recessions on record, many students and their families are wondering why tuition keeps rising, and how much higher it will go. Many kids after high school would like to go to the college they’ve always wanted, but can’t afford it. With many scholarships to apply for, it still doesn’t add up to the total amount of college. By the time they reach the time to leave high school and become adults, having more responsibilities and creating a new life, they have to worry about getting into the right college and if it is expensive or unaffordable, they pull out student loans which later has to be paid back. If they have loans, they usually spend a significant amount of their life repaying it even after school. I know that once I make it to college I would love to study what I want and find out what to do with the rest of my life, but I have to stress about the costs of going to a place I want to live and trying to learn new things about my upcoming career. Do I just go to Community College and forget the University I’ve been dreaming of going to while saving a lot of money or do I risk pulling out a student loan and knowing that I have to pay that back for the rest of my life? Higher education is a fascinating, complex business. Its pricing dynamics ripple throughout the rest of our economy, in effect determining who will thrive and who will fail. The people who will find a way to get through college despite the costs — rising college tuition is a personal challenge. But the great national crisis is the fact that too many other young adults are not going to college or, if they do, don’t graduate, in large part because they can’t afford it. Every American benefits when every other American has access to as much schooling as he or she wants. When accessibility to higher education declines, we all end up paying for it. Until we address the root cause of the problem, students will continue to graduate with big debts that not only burden them, but create a drag on the economy as a whole. Thank you for taking the time to read this and listening to the issues many students and families have today.