Jacob B. California

College Tuition: The Trillion Dollar Student Debt

The cost of college is rising and colleges and states aren't doing much about it. The trillion dollar student debt is growing fast.

Dear President,

College is providing students many opportunities for a degree, but this is coming at a cost. College students are in debt and their tuition is way too high. Why does it have to be that way? Around 1978, the cost of college was low, in the hundreds range, and increased 1120% today. The inflation of college tuition began around that time also. The high price of tuition is putting students and families in debt.

There are reasons behind this. The cause behind this are the state's actions. The states are reducing the budget toward higher education. The money colleges receive is for helping improve courses. According to NPR,

"So it's not that colleges are spending more money to educate students… It's that they have to get that money from someplace to replace their lost state funding — and that's from tuition and fees from students and families."

Even the colleges are behind this too. Colleges have been spending up to $1 billion to improve the campus. This includes new buildings. To pay for new buildings, colleges are using loans instead of using donations. Colleges make up the money by increasing tuition and that causes student debt. When college students go into debt, they aren’t able to get a job during or after graduation to pay off debt. This is also discouraging students to stay in or go into college. About 68% fail to graduate college in 4 years and 44% fail to do so also in 6 years. All these are causing students to go into debt.

College students are looking into online programs that provide college courses for free. College professors came up with M.O.O.C. to make college courses online. M.O.O.C. stands for Massive Open Online Courses. Programs such as Edx, Coursera, and Udacity are the few that provides college courses online. M.O.O.C. did end up failing, but professors who support the program are improving it.

Students and families are realizing that college is becoming outrageous in cost. Most governing boards think that the cost is just fine and should stay the same. According to HowStuffWorks,

“When it comes to the tuition crisis, it also appears that the folks in charge aren't getting the message. According to a 2012 report by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, most board members (55 percent) recognized that college was becoming too expensive, but 62 percent also believed that the price of their particular institution was just fine...”

These actions are causing the $1 trillion debt that all students owe rise.

The states lowered the budget that higher education receives by about 40% causing the colleges to increase tuition. A solution to fix this is that the states should increase the budget for higher education. Another solution to help lower the student debt crisis is to create better programs that helps students reduce their tuition debt that they owe. What will you do about this? Will you help current and future college students?


Jacob Bernardis



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