Dear Next President,
I am very concerned with the high price tag that many colleges have at this current time. Not many students can afford college even with financial aid. Many students have a fundamental responsibility of working to pay off the cost of college. Having to deal with maintaining a job and a mountain of school work takes a toll on many of the students. With the cost of college rising every year that means that these students have to work substantial hours. One thing that a college must do is plan for students to be successful but having to focus more on work to pay off college than the actual school work itself affects the academic performance of the students. Stress for young adults is a problem and I think with a few changes in where we put our taxes we can change this.
Did you know that during the school year stress levels of students are higher than adults according to a survey released by the APA (American Psychological Association)? Stress has an effect on everything that we do. But the most important thing that it has an effect on is the academic performance and success of the students in school. Stress affects their mental health, which is needed for the success of these students. How do students feel about this? The anxiety and depression association says, “Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22.” In the http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/ a blog post titled “Current College Students Struggle to Survive Rising Tuitions by Tanya Cadwell,” proves how college tutition can be one of the leading reasons to stress by the many anecdotes provided. One being, “I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to go to a wonderful university. On the other hand, I knew my family and I could not afford it. Like many other students in California, I had to take out three loans in order to study. Even choosing the least expensive options, I know I will be paying off my loans for many, many years after I graduate. When I found out that tuition fees increased, I began to lose hope.”
Many colleges and universities argue that every time college prices rise financial aid rises as well, therefore there is no real rising cost but to that I rebudle. If tuition is 5,000 dollars and financial aid takes 1,000 away it is then 4,000 a year. If tuition then goes up to 10,000 financial aid will not cover 6,000 to then still be 4,000 a year. Financial aid is just going cover what they can maybe 2,000 dollars if that. Therefore making tuition an ever growing problem for kids and highschoolers like me in the future. Collegedata.org states that the the average of college tuition is $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. Not to mention ticas.org says, "seven in 10 seniors (68%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 per borrower. This represents a 4% increase from the average debt of 2014 graduates."
At this point what can be done? I don’t want taxes to go up any higher just to make budget and space for college kids because that might solve 100 young adults problems but it affects hundreds and thousand people all over the country, young or old, white or black, rich and poor. I think that our taxes should be redirected ever so slightly. In this case there are two examples worth sharing. Yes, I understand these examples may be extreme but our dollars were spent on it so we should be at least a little disappointed. The first one coming from the washington post stating the Department of defense spending 43 million dollars on one gas station, in Afghanistan. To make matter worse Afghani people couldn't even afford the natural gas prices so they closed the gas station. If only that money was shifted into paying the tuition of more than a couple students in need. My second example is an article titled “7 unbelievable ways the Government Wasted Your Money in 2015” from the Fiscal Times. While I can admit that most of what the article states I don't think is a total waste of money, it does state that, ”The Department of Defense complained until recently that it needed more operating funds, yet it managed to come up with $2 million to hire a team of musicians and researchers to develop robotic music computers to perform a trumpet solo and jam with human musicians.” As surprising as it may seem I really only have one simple question, Why? Why do we focus on a robot playing a solo trumpet rather than all those kids who can’t go to the music school they wanted to go to due to the cost of tuition? Humans can play the trumpet fine, there is no need for a robot to do it, that money should have gone to the deserving the kids who stress all day and all night to make sure that they keep their job, pass that test and hopefully get home on time to finish their 5 page essay on the Da Vinci code conspiracy theory.
As big as a statement as this may sound I see the cost of college as a first world crisis. This has to change for the young adults mental state. This has to change for the kids who have the mentality but not the money. This has to change for the sake of America's name, “The land of opportunity.”