Lily A. Minnesota

Why We Should Lower the Cost of College

Everyone should have an opportunity for higher education if they choose.

Dear Next President,

The price of college should be lowered because everyone should have an opportunity for higher education if they choose. The lack of a higher education can close doors, lead to lower income careers, and can be detrimental to a person's professional integrity.

A survey taken shows that 83 percent of people say they cannot afford the expense of a college education. (83% of Americans Say They Can't Afford College) This information means college is the only “easy” option for 17 percent of the population, something is wrong with this. Recently released numbers released out of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows college enrollment rates have decreased as the amount of students graduate high school; the percentage of high school graduates who immediately enrolled in college fell from 69 percent in 2008 to 66 percent in 2013.(While High-School Graduation Rates Are Increasing) This has to do with the especially high college costs these past few years, so people are unfortunately settling for a high school education to get them through life. If we continue this outrageous overpricing of a higher education we will see a continued fall of college enrollment over the next few decades along with almost eliminating the option of college for low income families.

The high price tag does not only negatively affect almost all college students, it also affects their family and the college itself. The considerably recent increase in college tuition prices has resulted in a decreased enrollment, slower graduation times, academic effects, and dropping out.(“How Tuition Increases Affect College Students”) Students that attend college are usually in a great deal of debt after they graduate leaving them almost unable to support themselves and definitely not able to support anyone else, causing them to postpone relationships, marriages, and even children.(“15 Surprising Side Effects of Rising College Costs”) The effect of this is a growing numbers of graduates moving back in with their parents due to their immense debt. Many parents are also ill prepared for retirement because people can continue to pay off their college debts well into their mid life.(“15 Surprising Side Effects of Rising College Costs”) Many people don't find all of these negative effects of going to college worth the education it provides, and therefore skip out on it all together. The colleges are then getting less profit because not as many people are going negatively affecting them too.

Studies show that not attending college has the potential for the person to engage in a less healthy lifestyle. They also have the potential to not be a very active citizen in community involvement, voting and blood donation. By lowering the price of college we have the potential to better our citizens.(“How a College Degree Can Change Your Life”) If people are unable to attend college due to the expense they will most likely have a lower earning potential, less job opportunities, less benefits, less job satisfaction, less job stability, likely less benefits for future or current children, and being able to communicate less effectively.(The Benefits of a College Degree College Atlas) We are basically not giving people who cannot afford a higher education a chance to be their best self. If we were to lower the cost of college we could literally change the future of our society.

My uncle didn’t attend college and every time it is mentioned in any conversation he feels ashamed and angry at himself that he didn’t go. In a story on an online magazine, Slate, a woman references her fiancé who also feels the same way as my uncle, as she states that whenever college is mentioned in a conversation, it makes her fiancé uncomfortable and embarrassed.(Dear Prudence) A person should not be put it the position to feel regret for something that they would have never been able to afford. Lowering the price could almost completely demolish this pain and regret many people in today's society understand.

I am not saying college is everyone's destiny. I am saying that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college if that is their ambition, or if that is the lifestyle they desire. However, the price tag following college is so expensive many people consider attending college as an unattainable goal. My hope is soon everyone should be able to accomplish whatever they want academically and not let something as petty as money get in the way.


Lily Alexander

10th Grade

Central High School MN 

St. Paul Central High School

Approaching Analysis Hours 4 and 5

10 Quest 4th and 5th hour students

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