Rachel H. Michigan

College Tuition

This is about the rising prices of college tuition, and what I believe (and hope) can be done about it.

Dear Next President,

This year I am a high school junior and one of the major things coming up in my near future is college. With college comes the high prices of college tuition. This is an issue for most people, because there are very few who can pay the cost up front. Therefore, a lot of students have to take out student loans, which could take years to pay off. What I hope is that somehow the cost of tuition could be decreased, lowering the amount of money people have to pay while in and after college.

The problem with college tuition is that it has gone up at a rate that is higher than inflation. An article by Mike Patton, “The Cost of College: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” states, “Total inflation averaged 2.3% during this entire period... education expenses rose 5.2%. If education inflation continues to average 5.2%, the cost of tuition and fees for a four-year public university in 10 years will be between $65,590 (in-state public) and $224,124 (private).”

What I believe this is saying is that college tuition is going to become so expensive that people will not be able to pay for it anymore. This is because if wages are not increasing at the same rate that college tuition is increasing then it will keep becoming increasingly hard for the future generations of America to pay for college.

What I believe might help this problem is either making college a free education for everyone or just lowering the cost. A way that the price of college might be lowered is mentioned in the article, “3 Education Experts On Ways To Improve College Pricing and Payment,” by Laura Shin. In the article she states, “There’s a lot of potential for technology to substitute for the classroom. You could have a smaller facility. Hybrid technology-and-professor systems would require fewer instructors. Everyone would have a choice of the 20 best lecturers and the 10 best scholars in the country.” This would make the system more efficient, and with efficiency comes less expensive costs for many things, like education. Also, Shin talked about smaller classrooms, there are less building fees and more money to focus on getting students that education that they are paying for.

A different way that would make college more affordable is to make it free. Some ways to make this a reality are outlined in, “The Argument for Tuition-Free College,” by Keith Ellison. Ellison says, “The solution lies in federal investments to states to lowered the overall cost of public colleges and universities. In exchange, states would commit to reinvesting state funds in higher education. Any public college or university that benefitted from the reinvestment program would be required to limit tuition increases. This federal-state partnership would help lower tuition for all students. Schools that lowered tuition would receive additional federal grants based on the degree to which costs are lowered.” This would not only benefit people who want to go to college to get the extra learning and education, but it would also encourage people who otherwise may not have gotten the higher education due to the lack of funding. In my opinion using one of these two different methods would help America as a whole and help many people in the future who would have had to deal with great amounts of debt just to get more education.

In conclusion, my wish is that the price of college can be decreased to help people get into college, and to eliminate the debt that lots of Americans deal with after they get out of college. This can be achieved just by trying to use the current system more efficiently, or eliminating the entire cost as best we can. I firmly believe something should be done about the vastly increasing cost of college tuition, and I think you have the power to do so.


Rachel Hartrick

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

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