Dear Future President,
The cost of tuition and fees in public and private schools all over the country have risen exorbitantly over the last couple decades. With this problem combined with financial aid being offered in smaller values, students struggle more to keep up with the overwhelming costs and debt. For example, with TOPS funding for scholarships being cut down beginning the upcoming 2017 year in Louisiana, more students begin to worry about college fees and other scholarships. The problem is that tuitions are rising at a faster rate than that of financial aid and scholarships being offered. Without the latter two items covering enough, then, more students are less inclined to attend college from the fear of never being able to pay off the extra loans they’ll have to take out. When my parents were in college and later on pharmacy school and medical school in the 1980s-1990s, they had a much lower tuition to worry about, leading up to a much smaller overall debt after the two to four years at each institution. My mother had to pay around $30,000 to cover all the expenses to attend the pharmacy school at University of Louisiana Monroe for three years, whereas the minimum overall cost to attend that same pharmacy school now for just one year is $32,577. As for my father, he ended up with around $40,000–$50,000 debt after attending both pharmacy school and medical school, whereas now the average medical school tuition (not including any other fees for medical school) runs almost $33,000 a year for in-state students and over $50,000 a year for out-of-state students. One family friend of mine just began attending USC dental school this year, and just the tuition alone is almost $90,000. In the 1980s, many people worried about being over $50,000 after graduate school, and now it’s much easier for people to fall hundreds of thousands dollars in debt over undergraduate and graduate schools due to the tuition rise.
The stress of maintaining a good GPA at these institutions along with the building debt can lead to more problems for students. The more prominent these problems become for students leads to the students making rather unfortunate decisions. One example would be medical school. The stress of the competition and workload combined with trying to cover the costs of medical school has resulted in many students attempting suicide. The worst part is that it happens so often at these institutions that most of the time that the institutions don’t hold any sort of small event to state their condolences. My father told me stories of how he knew some of the people who committed suicide when he was in medical school because the stress of medical school got to them. Also, a family friend in medical school said that it happens quite a few times every year and how it’s not too surprising when it occurs. If tuition and fees didn’t rise so quickly, more people would be less worried about debt and more focused on doing well in school. Tuition and fees are strong reasons for a student to choose whether or not to attend an institution from a logical viewpoint. I understand that there’s a cost to making all these advancements in fields like science and technology, but that doesn’t justify the overall amount of debt that students end up trying to pay over the course of many years so I’m pleading that you take into consideration to support higher funding for at least public colleges and regulate the rate of the increasing tuition and fees at these institutions.
"Cost of Attendance." Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Hause, Emily. "What Is the Real Cost of Medical School?" Kaplan Test Prep. Med School Pulse, 19 June 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
Lewin, Tamar. "Plagued by Falling Enrollment, Dental Schools Close or Cut Back.” N.p., 29 Oct. 1987. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
"ULM Financial Aid | Cost of Attendance." ULM University of Louisiana at Monroe. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.