Going to college was unheard of unless you were wealthy, that was nearly 30 years ago. Having a college degree meant that you are guaranteed a comfortable job. As I am in college right now, I am curious on why college tuition is expensive. Why does a 4 year college tuition cost so much and how can we lower the cost? Not every student can afford to pay a ridiculous amount of money for tuition. Many students are avoiding going to college simply because of the outrageous price. Why should students who want a higher education to pay a ridiculous amount of money knowing that they may not be able to pay it back after they graduate. Not everyone can afford to pay for college. Looking at the price of college tuition will change people’s mind about what they really want to do with their life. Even with high cost of tuition, books and materials are also expensive. According to Spohngellert, “In-state tuition and fees at the University for the 2013–14 year are $12,458, a 23 percent increase from the numbers five years ago. By contrast, the average in-state tuition for the state of Virginia is $10,366, but this marks a 29 percent increase from five years prior” (Spohngellert, 2013). Not every students and family qualifies for financial aid. Comparing today’s cost of tuition to back in the day, high school graduates could pay for their tuition by working a summer job but now you can’t. With the rise of high cost of college tuition, it made it more and more difficult for students that are low income.
The price of college tuition doesn’t give student equal opportunity. Most average high school graduates planning to attending a four year college do not have enough money to pay which will force student to take out loans which will leave them struggling to finance heavy debts. James Monks author of The Role of Institutional and State Aid Policies in Average Student Debt shares the statistics on how most students aren’t able to pay back: A 2012 report, Grading Student Loans, by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York points out that, of the 37 million borrowers who had outstanding student loan balances as of the third quarter of 2011, 14.4 percent, or about 5.4 million borrowers, have at least one past-due student loan account. (Monks, 2014). Student loans seems to be clear that the debt levels have been drastically increased over the past decade. In the earlier generation days, a summer job can have the power to pay for your college tuition but now when you compare the cost today, it couldn’t. I believed that college should be affordable to everyone who wants to further their education. The main reason why students drop out is because they can’t afford it anymore. Also, most student that dropped out will not finish their college education. “Another reason students drop out, Ms. Gonzalez said, is that they don’t feel sure they belong. For them, any setback or poor grade can make them question whether they should be in college in the first place” (Bui, 2016). You’ve got to remember that if you fail a class, not only do you have to take it again but you will have to pay again. Most of the students have to work to support themselves and their families.
Many would argue that who will fund the university, how will the university pay their staff or how will the school survive. Offering online courses can decrease tuition cost. Generally courses with hundreds of students that doesn’t require student to professor interaction or most General Education courses could just be effectively taught online. “By converting at least 20 percent of those classes to online courses we could save more than $90 billion annually” (Moon, 2014). What if I told you that Yale’s cost of attendance is almost the same as University of Southern California. Would you believe me? Well according to Yale, their tuition cost is $51,000 whereas University of Southern California, their tuition cost is 52,000. An Ivy League college cost as much as an in state school? How is that possible. Yale and other colleges receives donations. They could generally keep the cost low with the donations they receive, but you have to keep in mind that not everyone are accepted into Yale.
Bui, Quictrung. (2016). Hidden Side of the College Dream: Mediocre Graduation Rates. The New York Times.
Monks, James. (2014). The Role of Institutional and State Aid Policies in Average Student Debt. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 655.1 : 123–142. Retrieved from Education Database; ProQuest Newsstand.
Moon, Moon. (2014). Reducing Tuition, Not Offering More Loans, WIll Make College Affordable. Huffington Post.
Spohngellert, Leopold. (2013). CollegeBoard Study Reveals Increasing Gap between Tuition, Student Loans. University Wire. Retrieved from Education Database; ProQuest Newsstand.