Dear Next President of the United States of America,
Congratulations on becoming the president! It was a very hard fought battle, but in the end, you came out on top. But I have an important issue to talk to you about today; the price of college. College prices need to decrease or disappear altogether, as they burden our youth with huge debt throughout the beginning of their adult life. The effects this has on not only them, but the American economy, is astounding.
Firstly, let’s start with the debt caused by a college education. Some people think that the amount of debt is manageable and fair, but that is not the case. Minnesota has an average debt load of $30,894, making it have the fifth largest debt load in the U.S. (Furst, startribune.com) Along with this large debt, at least 70% of Minnesota college students have it. (Furst, startribune.com) To exacerbate this problem, the cost of a college education increases at a rate of about nine percent every year. (Khalfani, gale.com) Some people say that is just because of inflation, but nine percent is three times the rate of inflation. (Khalfani, gale.com) All of these things result in more college students taking out loans to cover the price, and as you can see, it is happening. (Khalfani, gale.com)
Next, let’s talk about how this is discouraging post-secondary education in the U. S. A. Some people think that most students don't participate in post-secondary education because they either don’t want to, or aren’t smart enough to. However, multiple studies have found that the main reason young people have for not attending college is its enormous cost. (Wittner, proquest.com) The only way students can only afford college by working jobs, while also going to college. (Wittner, proquest.com) This is very stressful, and gives students much less time to study. As recently as 1990, most college students did not take out loans to pay for their education. (Wittner, proquest.com) Now, about three out of four college graduates have borrowed money to take care of their college costs. (Wittner, proquest.com) Paying off this debt at high interest rates creates a burden for young Americans, and all too many of them either default on it or settle for working at jobs they dislike. (Wittner, proquest.com) We want our youth to be working jobs that they actually want to work, instead of having to work jobs they hate. If people are working jobs they actually want to work, they will be more productive, and therefore bring more income to the U. S.
Moving on to new businesses, a very important part of the U. S. economy. Most people might think that college debt and business growth are unrelated. But, people have started to be concerned about declines in entrepreneurial activity, and about increases in the amounts students borrow to pay for college. (Baum, eric.ed.gov) Experts on entrepreneurship and student debt met at a conference in September, 2014, to find out whether the two were related. It was found that the two are very closely related to each other. (Baum, eric.ed.gov) We can conclude that the U. S. is making it very hard for new businesses to grow by forcing students to pay large sums of money for education they should get for free. From this information, we can conclude that the post-secondary education financing system in the United States is in much need of repair, or change. (Baum, eric.ed.gov) Our current system shifts the burden onto only a small percentage of the population, instead of having the whole country bear the burden. Doing this would not be very expensive, if we focused on taxing the one percent, and raising taxes all around, and then putting that money into post-secondary education. The cost of post-secondary education should be payed for through taxpayer dollars, not young adult dollars.
And lastly, we have already had free college in the United States of America. Many people think that post-secondary education in the U. S. has always been the way it is today. But that is not the case, in 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Morrill Act, creating land-grant universities and public colleges on a tuition-free basis. (Wittner, proquest.com) This means we have already had free tuition system in the U.S. For example, the State University of New York system remained tuition-free until 1963 and the University of California system had free tuition until the 1980s. (Wittner, proquest.com) But then people who wanted larger profit took it away, so from 1978 to 2013, American college tuition has risen by 1,120 percent. (Wittner, proquest.com) So we’ve already had a free college system that worked, and yet students still bear the huge burden of having to pay off a loan for the first ten or so years of their adult lives.
In conclusion, Mr. or Madame President, we have to fix the price of college, as it costs so much, prevents education, prevents new businesses and growth, and has already existed here. There is only advantages if we solve this problem. My proposed solutions are to either bring back the legislature that allowed there to be free college in the United States, or to half the price of college with taxes on the upper class, so there isn’t as much of a burden for the students. Some people may be mad about the taxes this would bring, but I believe, in the long run, it is more valuable to prepare our youth for the future. So I urge you, to please fix this problem, the U.S. is already far enough behind the rest of the world.