Even though I am a few years away from going to college, I am surrounded by people who are in the midst of applying and deciding what college they want to go to. As I am watching this process I am noticing one aspect of each college that each person is taking a close look at, I feel that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
The cost of college tuition has been rising over the course of 42 years. According to a “New York Times Magazine” article, the average price for one year of schooling in 1974 at a public university is $510. The majority of students go to a college for 4 years. This would make the total for 4 years of schooling $2,040, this total does not include the additional prices of a student who decides to live on campus and all of their needed supplies such as textbooks. In the year of 2016 the average price for one year of college at a public university has risen by nearly 4 times the cost for one year of college in 1974. This shows that the average price for one year of schooling is $9,000, making 4 years of schooling at a public university a total of $36,000. This total amount does not include the price to live on campus and the price of all of their necessary supplies. This article also states that the average cost for textbooks is $1,200 per year. Making the total price for 4 years of college at a public university $40,800.
You may be wondering why the cost of college is such a big issue. Well, with the increase of prices students are deprived of pursuing their “dream career”. Not only are the students affected, but their parents are as well. The median American family income is $64,000 per year. The average house costs $60,000 and the average car costs $4,400 according to a “New York Times Magazine” article. This shows that the average American family would already be $400 in debt. On top of this debt, the average family would struggle to provide yearly payments to their child’s college. This could result in major debt for the parents and/or having their child asked to leave the college because payments cannot be made. Now knowing some of these facts, would you consider taking a look into this issue?
You may wonder, how is this issue caused? “The New York Times Magazine” has stated that the powerful private schools lobbied politicians to keep public institutions underfunded. Since these schools are being underfunded they have decreased their per-student spending, causing students to have to spend more money. Why is it fair for private schools to get more money and keep public schools from receiving the correct amount of money? Just because private schools have wealthier students attending their programs, does not mean that students who attend public universities do not deserve the same education.
A student has written about his struggle with college on “studentdebtcrisis.org”. The price got so high that he could no longer provide a monthly payment to live in his house, resulting in him dropping out of college just to be able to have a roof over his head. So, college is not only causing students to not go to a certain college, it is now causing some students to have to drop out. These prices are getting outrageous if students need to drop out.
Now it’s your turn Mr. President. What if you had a child struggling to get into a college that could best serve their future goals? Would you sit back and force them to change their decision, or would you speak up and voice your opinion about the cost of college? People generally succeed more when they are performing a task that they take interest in. Forcing a student to change their decision would deprive them from succeeding in academics. A cheaper college may not provide any classes that could help prepare a student for their future goals. This would result in the student taking classes on an occupation that they do not take as much interest in, not allowing them to perform at the highest level of their academic ability. In order to have these prices drop, you need to increase the amount of federal funding for colleges. By increasing the funds, colleges could increase their per-student spending allowing incoming students to not have to pay as much to have a successful 4 years of college.