Dear Future President,
For high school students, going to college is the ultimate goal. It is the opportunity to better themselves and receive the education necessary for getting a job so that they can support themselves financially. However, high college tuition costs make it incredibly difficult for students to achieve this goal.
All students deserve the right to an education. Students should not be denied access to the education they deserve because of their financial situation. Nobody should have to sacrifice their education because of the financial burden it causes. By making it incredibly difficult to pay for college, we as a nation are saying that we value the futures of certain students (those who can afford to attend top universities) more than others. We are forcing students to pay for the opportunity to succeed, and that is unacceptable. We need to help students across the country by reducing the cost of attending a public college.
According to Forbes Magazine, in 2015, the average cost of tuition for one year at a public, in-state college was $9,139. This means that for four years of education at a public university, an in-state student would pay $39,508 in tuition alone. For out of state students, the cost rises to an incredible $97,690. In addition, students must pay for textbooks, as well as room and board. Forbes also predicts that if the the rate of inflation continues to rise as it is now, the cost for four years of public in-state college education in 10 years will be $65,590. That means in just 10 year, the cost will nearly double.
The Institute for College Access and Success states that in 2015, 68% of student graduating from a four year public or nonprofit college had student loan debt. The average amount of debt per student was $30,100. This means that students who are facing financial issues when they start college will only be left in more trouble once they graduate. This decreases the appeal of college for many students and will lead to more students attending two year college programs, or simply not attending college at all.
The idea of lowering the cost of public education, or even providing free public college education, is not new or radical. In fact, in countries across the globe, this idea has already been acted upon. In Germany, Norway, Iceland, and Finland, any student can attend public college with free tuition, according to CNN Money.
Of course, there are reports that state that a college education is beneficial in the long run because college graduates make a higher salary than those who did not attend. However, the issue at hand is not if college will relieve a student’s financial problems, but that students can not attend college in the first place. We need to create a country of equal opportunities and educated individuals. We can do this by lowering the cost of a public college education.