Dylan Opria Michigan

Student Debt

How college tuition effects students and taxpayers, and potential ways in which to solve the problem.

Dear Future President,

It seems that students that plan on going to college always have one thing on their mind. Unfortunately, it’s not always what they plan on majoring in, who their roommates are going to be, or if they should become a part of Greek Life. It’s the one thing overriding all of those thoughts; money. Money as in how much is tuition? Should I take a loan? Are my scholarships even helping? Is college worth how much future debt I’m going to be in? Even though not everyone struggles with paying for college, most people do in some sort of way. There are some options students can take, but ones such as loan agencies aren’t always the best go-to for future struggles when you can’t pay them back.It’s even more displeasing when a student pays all the money for tuition then drops out before their last year.

High tuition rates can change how a student chooses what school to go to, if they even choose to do so. Most people say it’s a big “investment”, but the cost of college is so high that some people change their minds and choose not to go. How good of an “investment” is college if people get scared off by it? In fact, it’s so big that students have to take out multiple loans and search for financial aid if they want a full, 4- year experience for what they want to study. Some students will drop out because it’s so expensive, or have to put off classes until they can afford them.

If you are unable to pay for college completely on your own, you’ll probably graduate with debt. This debt is either a balance with the university or most likely from student loans. Depending on how much tuition was, interest rates are, and what you pay each payment, determines how long until you’ve payed it off. It can sometimes take years to do so after you’ve graduated and found a well-paying job. Grad school just puts you deeper into the hole. The truth is these loan agencies practically have you on a leash even after you graduate. They’re the Dr. Evil of college that keeps you from moving on. People think they are fine after they graduate, but those agencies still own you.

Some people are handed free college for certain reasons. We all are familiar with how this works. Tax payers pay the university instead of the student because they come from circumstances that aren’t fair to them. The problem with it is even if you feel good about yourself for encouraging someone to learn, what if they drop out? When a student doesn’t have to pay for part or even all of their tuition, the university still makes the same amount of money from that student attending the college, just from a different source (taxpayers). Of people that receive paid college, only one- third finish schooling, and the numbers aren’t too different from upper-class paying students. So could you maybe be wasting you money on these students? If not enough people are graduating, it seems we should be concerned about tuition fees, because a high tuition doesn’t help tax payers when a student just pretty much wastes their money. 

It would be great for you to consider new ways of students achieving their career without having so much money go pay. Maybe students won’t have to take as many required courses, or maybe universities can only charge so much per field a student goes into. At this rate, college rates for my children will be unbelievable if nothing is changed. Who’s to say people will still attend college as much as they do now in the future?

Thank You,

Dylan Opria 

Oakland Writing Project (Michigan) - CASA

CASA - AP Lang

9th-12th grade students who come from 3 different schools.

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