Dear Next President,
When will college students ever wake up from the never-ending nightmare that is debt? With the way things are going right now, student loans are increasing at about $3,000 a second, from data provided by the Market Watch clock. By the end of a single day, that ends up to be a whopping $259,200,000. This will be the number that our current generation of young, innovative college students have to deal with at the beginning of their careers in order to move forward in life. Should this get any worse, fewer students will be able to continue onto higher education. That’s not how education should be offered on America’s large table of opportunity. Those who wish to participate in higher education should be able to do so without the hefty price tag. As a nation, we need to find a solution that will keep money in student’s wallets and make higher education more available around the country.
Seven out of ten students who graduate college are left in the dust with nearly $30,000 of debt (per student), according to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). That’s roughly seventy percent of college graduates. Seventy percent, that have to work their tails off and put their hard-earned money into repaying their loan, rather than spending it on food,clothes, or any other necessities. Some students even go as far as to living in their car, such is the case of college freshman LooLoo Amante. From a Mercury News article written in late July 2016, she sleeps in her Scion at night instead of a comfortable bed. This is only one of the many situations in the United States that have no happy ending. Not yet, if we decide to enact upon these urgent needs to fix this dire situation!
Let’s see how the problem is in other countries. Besides having breath-taking scenery, countries like Germany, Sweden and France have colleges that not only offer lower (in some schools, free) tuition, but are open to enrolling international students. Why is that so? Business Insider says, that Europeans pay higher taxes and have lower enrollment rates compared to America. To raise taxes is like pulling teeth in America; not only do the rich have to, quite literally, “pay the price” but the middle and lower classes do as well. But if it means creating a country that produces more successful college graduates, then in the simplest of terms, we would be building the foundation of a more stable economy.
Though a reduced college tuition would be nice, there are some who argue that it’s not the most important matter at hand. Factors such as our military and funding large private corporations are prioritized over it. It’s understandable- we want to protect our country that was made from scraps, in order to maintain our “independent” image. To further contribute to that, we keep insane amounts of cash flowing through bigger “veins” known as companies. With these two factors driving our country, we strongly support our soldiers defending our country, and those who use it to mass-produce whatever needs our country has. However, CNN points out, “Nearly 20% of large U.S. corporations that reported a profit on their financial statements in 2012 ended up paying exactly nothing in U.S. corporate income taxes.” If we can fund businesses that we have no use for, why can’t we put more of that money into college fees? At least with college fees, product is sure to actually produce more profit, rather than circulate it in a cycle where only the upper-class benefits.
In order to build a better (higher) education system, we need to place policies that will work for all parties involved. For example, the “Race to the Top” program started in 2013 by Barack Obama. This program was created to motivate colleges in the 48 contiguous states to improve curriculums, support students and teachers, and make less-prestigious schools better. Colleges who exceeded these requirements would be compensated with extra funding from the White House.The White House website reads that 19 schools have received their fair share of funds after working diligently to better themselves. If we were to create more programs like this, we would surely enhance the quality of learning and therefore the amount of students likely to graduate.
With the information provided in this letter, please consider finding a solution that will assist the numerous students in need. Not only do the current youth of our country depend on your actions, but the upcoming future generations as well.