Liz O. Iowa

Trading a Diploma for Debt

Lowering college tuition costs, a simple yet crucial decision.

Dear Future President,

As you may know, college tuition has become a big concern regarding both a high schooler's future and a parent’s pocket. Students across the country are trading in their diploma for years of student loan debt. Because of this, I believe it is necessary to reduce the cost of college to a more affordable amount.

Many prospective college students all have a very similar fear when it comes to the cost, the fear of debt. Students that grow up in a more underprivileged area are less likely to attend college because of the unaffordable prices. Because these students can’t afford to go to college, they can’t further their education. This leaves them with an increased inability to achieve their goals and dreams.

Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. In fact, a 2016 college graduate is $37,172 in student debt. A fairly universal degree that most colleges offer is teaching. In 2012, the average teacher had to pay $429 a month to pay off their college debt, over half paid even more. This is a pretty large amount of money for a teacher to have to pay back, especially on a starting salary. If college prices were lowered, it would give more people bigger opportunities and chances at a better future.

While the lowering of tuition can be largely beneficial, some argue that the cost of college tuition can be paramount. It can be argued that some of the people who find college unaffordable are generally not willing to put in the time and effort into a learning environment and would not take college seriously. If all types of students, both good and bad, attended college because it was considerably cheaper, it might prevent even more students from succeeding and reaching their goals due to a number of students not taking their education seriously.

While this could be true, I’m not talking about making a college education free. I am, however, talking about lowering the price from an unreasonable number to a much more affordable dollar amount. Private, Christian, and even art-based colleges, such as Columbia University in Chicago, Il, have attendance costs that can range all the way up to $40,000 a year; a total of $160,000 spent on a college education. This is an amount I consider to be ridiculous. If we were to cut college tuition in half, $20,000 a year, more students would be able to afford college and there would be a larger amount of students that would WANT to further their education. This makes a seemingly simple decision a crucial one.

As a unified country, we can to work together to figure out a way to balance the cost of college expenses in order to make them more affordable for all. This would give more people the ability to further their education by attending college, while also providing a more educated workforce in the process. I hope you will consider all of these points, as I think we can both agree this is a serious matter.


Liz O