4 NOVEMBER 2016
Future President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Future President,
Once upon a time on the land that we live on now, people dreamed through their high school years about going to college and being able to pay it off with money they saved throughout their lifetime and maybe with a little help from their parents. But a few decades later, this dream was long gone and replaced by a great amount of stress and unreasonably high tuition. The people of this generation live their high school lives in a constant cycle of stress and panic about how they are going to pay for college and have to pursue high-paying jobs to pay back student loans that they are expecting to receive, including myself. This is an issue that has come up a few times during your campaign but was not given much emphasis, but I hope that soon you will realize the importance of lower college tuition is much greater and put it in your “to-do” list for the next four years. Many of us American students wonder why there is such a dramatic increase in college tuition over these past years and, though we have not been to college yet, already understand the consequence and impact of these alarmingly expensive tuition costs.
Over recent decades, tuition is known to be increasing at a high rate, much higher than inflation. The reason why seems to be that inflation isn’t halting, causing college tuition to surge ahead, according to acting dean John T. Dunlop. These excessive college costs already bury students in insuperable debts, but unfortunately affect students in more ways than one. In order to attempt to combat the rising tuition cost, students take out multiple loans, often leading to an unanticipated backlash of more debt. The entirety of the cost of college only allows 66% of students coming from families greatly concerned with finances applied to college, as opposed to the 90% of students whose families are not concerned with the finances. Not only do these finances impact debt and families, but they also directly impact the student’s personal lives. Due to the accumulated debt throughout their college years, young adults tend to delay important life decisions associated with marriage, children, housing, and even medical care. These factors play a large role in a person’s life, and although they may think that it is for the better of them, these decisions may also help them release tension from studying and working all the time, damaging their own health. Not only that, but for those who actually want to work and study, pursuing their dream careers in their field is difficult due to the fact that student debt outweighs the salaries of jobs, just like how these debts and tuition costs affect students, it also affects me as a freshman in high school.
Growing up with an average family meant that I lived a comfortable life throughout my childhood. Of course, that was what I had assumed before I noticed how hard my parents worked to afford everything. My father had a decent job, but ever since 2008, my father has been working on contracts, getting a job then having to look for another about every six months. My mother wanted to become a dentist but her dreams were cut short when she got married and was not able to pay for her last two years of college. Times were tough for them, but they did everything they could to make sure that I lived comfortably and had a good education growing up. Family problems arose beginning when I was young, but that never distracted me from my education. But certain situations put us into tight corners, for instance when my sister was born. We lived in a constant cycle of stress and conservation to allow for a somewhat comfortable lifestyle, but as I grew older, we could not avoid one question my parents asked ever since I started going to school: how will we pay for your college tuition? I have high dreams of becoming a pediatrician or a lawyer, but the chances are very low considering that college tuition is rising at a consistently high rate. The thing is, how are students, such as myself, going to pay for college? Sure we could use student loans, but that will put students in another cycle of pressure, causing them to delay important life choices. What is the purpose of going to college and getting a job if you are never going to reach a content lifestyle? Others may say that it is part of life, but I believe that it is affecting students, their mental perspectives of life, and their family connections.
Throughout America, students are facing the same issue of expensive college tuition. This is causing them to neglect important priorities that we see as a necessity. Some students are also in the same situation as me, not poor yet still struggling, and are questioning whether or not college is really worth it. College is a place where people find their paths, what they enjoy, and are finally noted as responsible adults after many years of being pampered. While some parents could not finish college or even attend, they also believe that college is an important part of life. And I hope that soon you will begin to realize the greater importance of this issue and put it on your “to-do” list for the next four years. We need to think of the country, yes, but it all begins with the youth.
Concerned High School Student