James T. Connecticut

Why College Education Costs Need To Be Decreased

College is the biggest issue facing American families in this year's election, and something needs to be done to help them.

Dear Future President,

I’m James Trinkle, and I’m a sophomore at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut. My goal of this letter is for you, the future president, to understand my point of view, and to sympathize with hard working Americans across the country. In this election cycle, one of the most important issues facing us is unaffordable college education. The cost of college education needs to be decreased because the average hard working American family cannot come up with the money, and college graduate students are earning much more than their high school graduate counterparts which is why we have to make sure more students are graduating college.

The typical American family in the United States cannot come up with the money required to attend colleges of students choosing. First of all, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income of an American family is $51,939. To put that number into perspective, according to Yale’s website, the cost of attending Yale University is $63,970 when considering the cost of boarding fees. It’s not feasible for a family to save $255,880 (cost of four year degree) that’s making the median household income. This amount of money takes top universities off the table to kids who are living in an average American household. The problem is real. Ronald Nelson, a high school senior, prioritized money over the college he went to. Ronald was accepted to all eight ivy league schools, but decided to go to the University of Alabama because he couldn’t get the financial aid necessary to attend the prestigious schools. While some would say that kids who want to go to college can go to a state school for a mere $9,410 per year on average (collegedata.com), I would argue that this is the root of the problem. College becoming so expensive has taken away the ideals of hard work, and freedom to choose. I don’t want to be limited to only state schools, and I want to be rewarded for my hard work. If all of my work in school becomes irrelevant when I apply to college because of costs, why would I work hard in the first place. I know both of our candidates know a thing or two about hard work. I know Mr. Trump woke up at ungodly hours at military school, and I know Secretary Clinton has put half of her life into public service for our country. Our families in America are also hard working, and they’re struggling to keep up with these costs. They are being forced to send their kids to in state colleges, which is why the American people need you to help bring back our founding ideals, and lower the cost of college tuition.

The importance of having a college degree has only increased due to an increasing wealth gap between high school graduates and college graduates, and less high paying jobs becoming available to people who don’t have a college degree. For example, according to Pew Research, college graduates make $45,500, compared to high school graduates making $28,000. The gap has been widening for years now, and it hasn’t been showing signs of stopping. In addition to college graduates making more, there job opportunities are increased tremendously because of their broad range of skill. Education Corner seems to agree. “In today’s economy, employment options are shrinking for people who only have a high school diploma. A large majority of high school graduates work in the service industry, in low paying jobs that don’t offer many opportunities for advancement. College graduates, on the other hand, tend to have skills that qualify them for a broad range of employment in fields that offer more upward mobility.” (Education Corner) Not only do college graduates make more money and have a broader range of jobs to apply to, they also have a higher chance of advancing in these jobs lines to higher paying jobs. The benefits of a college degree are clearly demonstrated here, which begs the question, why aren’t we guaranteeing that all of our millennials have a chance at at the school of their choice. Mr. Trump, being the family man that you are, I know that you care about America’s children going to a good college. Mrs. Clinton, I know you care about the millennials future too because you watched your own daughter go through the college process. You saw how hard it was, and you want it to be easier for today’s kids just like me. The choice is clear. We need to invest in all millennials future’s so that they can prosper, and enjoy the benefits of having a college degree such as higher pay, and increased job opportunities.

College education has simply become unaffordable. Hard working families across America will not be able to put forth the money the top universities are requiring, and the college degree has become more important than ever. Two of America’s founding ideals are being stripped away from the people. The freedom to choose what you want to do, which in this case is what college you want to attend or what job you want, and the idea that hard work will be rewarded. College needs to become more affordable for students so that they can earn their degree, and go onto career paths of their choosing. No matter how hard the average American family works, they will not be able to send two kids to the college of their choice on 51,939 dollars a year. Let’s make sure we can still guarantee hard work will pay off, and the freedom to choose what we want to do as an individual. So, Dear Future President, I ask you to invest in America’s future through education, and give the common folk back the ideals this country was founded on.

Sincerely, James Trinkle 

Staples High School


Mr. Heaphy's students speak out on the issues that will be important to them as new voters in the next election!

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