Dear Next President:
Throughout America, a total of 62% of the population, approximately 200,953,648 people, do not have a college degree, as stated by Katharina Fiedler on PolitiFact. College costs across the United States have skyrocketed in the last 40 years. According to New York Times Magazine, in 1974 the average price for a private college was $2,000 per year. Today, only 42 years later, the price for one year at a university, or private college, is $31,000. We need to reduce college costs in the U.S. because many lower and middle class families struggle to pay for college, the majority of students leave college with student debt, and the United States has the highest college prices in the world.
Countless lower class and middle class families are unable to pay for, or even help pay for, their student’s college tuition. New York Times Magazine states that a median family income is about $62,000 per year. Today's prices for college are nearly half of what a family makes in a whole year. If you take into consideration bills, food, unplanned expenses and necessities it isn't even possible to pay out of pocket for your child's college fees. Of course, there are a multitude of scholarships and grants available to assist students in paying their tuition. However, many students don't qualify for such opportunities. Therefore, a copious amount of people resort to taking out student loans in order to pay for their college costs.
Nowadays, it is getting harder to graduate from college without taking out student loans. Market Watch reports that nearly 40 million Americans take out loans for college, and 70% of students leave college with student debt. Currently, with an abundant amount of people taking out loans, there is $1.2 trillion worth of student loan debt in the United States. Clearly, there are many student wanting to go to college who don't have the money to pay for the outrageous price. Student loans can be a burden on a person's life from the day they start college to the day they die. Being in debt can affect how a person spends their money and ultimately, have an effect on the economy. Some students are even traveling abroad to attend college due to affordability.
College costs must be lowered so that the United States can compete with other countries in pricing for college. In comparison to other countries, America has the highest college tuition by far. According to CNN, there are a total of 44 colleges in Europe where students can earn their bachelor’s degree for free. This is influencing many U.S. citizens to move to Europe for the free education. When Europe does charge for college, it is still incomparable to the U.S. pricing. The average price for college in Europe is around $2,000, as reported by CNN. However, prices can reach as high as $9,000, which is still roughly ⅓ the price of college in America. Other countries, such as Canada, offer college to students for as little as $4,500 per year.
College is a great opportunity that everyone should get the chance to experience. I myself will be attending college in a short two years and am worried about the financial aspect of it. Right now, in America, we are making it extremely hard for students to pay their way through college. The increasing college costs must be reduced in order for middle and lower class students to have the ability to attend college and better their future. The more intelligent we make our people, the better chance we will have at improving our society.