Sarah T. California

College Tuition Costs

College tuition just keeps increasing, while the motivation for youth to pursue top tier education continues to decrease.

Dear Future President,

As a junior in high school, college is an impending decision, upon which future hopes and dreams rest. It is universally understood that education is important. In fact, since I was a little girl, I was being taught that what college I went to determined my status for the rest of my life. Therefore, the pressure to have the most opportunities and the best chances at a top college became unbearable. Doors were closing rapidly due to tuition costs alone! How am I supposed to aspire towards a goal I know is already out of reach? The answer is simple; you give up. Rising tuition costs are largely responsible to the lack of motivation to be successful among the current generation.

The issue does not lie with the wealthy spectrum. The lower and middle class however, are voiceless against big private schools. As the demand for a higher education increases, the top schools can continue raising prices. As long as the value of education keeps rising, there is no cap for the education system. Colleges can keep charging whatever absurd tuition value with the justification that their school offers ‘elite education’ that must be worth it. There is a huge social stigma that the more expensive a school’s tuition is, the higher the worth of the graduate’s diploma. This correlates with the basic principle of supply and demand. According to the College Board, tuition fees at public four-year institutions has increased by about 4% just over the last decade, as shown in the bar graph below.

The rise of college tuition not only affects family's bank accounts, but the motivation of average students. Students all over the country are feeling the pressure to perform well in high school. This accounts for extracurriculars, job experience, sports, and a myriad of other resume worthy activities to appear balanced and well rounded. However, the multitude of pressure leads to an unmanageable load of stress as well. On top of this, after working hard to reach an academic goal, the student may not even be able to attend their desired college due to expenses. Imagine how devastated the parents of that student will be, having to deliver the news that hours and hours of studying were for nothing. Imagine the student's own disappointment as they attend a community college instead of the private education they well deserved. Why does our free nation promote a system that forces education to be an unquantifiable dream? And more importantly, why is nothing being done to cure these rising prices? 

College tuition costs may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things with other current issues like global warming and terrorism. However, our future depends on these generations who are feeling defeated by the rising tuition costs. More and more millennials are being dissuaded from doing their best in high school because the top schools are too expensive. What good does it do to deflate students' motivations before they even graduate? The only solutions some face are to push themselves even harder to earn a scholarship or to give up and accept that they are not good enough. Overall, I strongly believe that the financial background of a student, should not be able to dictate the extent of their education. 


Sarah T.

Newbury Park High School

Newbury Park High School

IB Lang & Lit HL 1 - Period 3A (Lilly)

Newbury Park's period 3A IB Lang & Lit course

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