Carly M. Indiana

Cutting College Costs

Practical ideas to help cut the cost of rising college tuition.

Dear President,

The cost of college tuition is rising dramatically each year despite colleges being funded more each year. The average debt for the class of 2016 was $37,172. This is 6% higher than the average debt of the class of 2015. In total, Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. That makes up nearly 7% of the $18.6 trillion national debt. This is truly a problem. Many college graduates have to delay important things in their lives, like buying a house, starting a family, or even getting married because of the debt that they accumulate.

I am currently a junior in high school so I have been looking at many colleges that I would like to attend in 2 years. When I look at colleges a big factor to me is the cost. My parents are middle class citizens and they make enough for us to have everything we need but how we will pay for my college tuition is something we worry about. I plan on a degree that will take 6-7 years to complete, so it will be very costly. By the time I receive my Bachelor’s Degree I will be in more debt than what my mom makes in a year. In fact, the average debt for a college graduate is more than what the average American makes a year.

In the 60’s and 70’s college students were able to pay for their tuition with a summer job. Due to the rise in tuition cost the average college graduate pays 200-300 dollars a month for 10-20 years to clear their student debt. There is a way that you can reduce the debt that college graduates must incur. Obviously college tuition needs to be lowered but it’s not quite that simple. A way that college tuition can be brought down is by reducing the amount of required courses. Many required courses that aren’t necessary to a future career. There are science majors that have to take history and foreign languages and history majors required to take math and science courses. Many times this is the reason students won’t go to college or drop out. This is the case for my dad. My dad went to college to be an accountant but he dropped out after two years because he couldn’t pass psychology and he was tired of having to take and pay for the class over and over. He didn’t fulfill his dream because of a one semester class.

Another way the cost of college can be reduced is by book prices. Many classes require very expensive books that students end up using once or twice in the one or two semesters they take the class. The average cost for 4-5 college textbooks is nearly $1,300 a year. There are ways students can get them cheaper, like renting them or buying them used, but not all students are able to do so. If book prices were reduced the companies selling the books would still make a profit because more students would buy new books due to the reduced price.

The price of college tuition is a big issue right now, and it will be an even bigger issue in the future if something is not done about it. So may I suggest that you find a way to reduce the amount of required classes or/and reduce the prices of college textbooks, and help more Americans realize the dream of a college education.

Thank you for your time and consideration,