The American Dream

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Historian James Truslow Adams is often credited for popularizing the phrase “American Dream” in 1931 thanks to his book Epic of America. In his book he wrote “ but there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement”. The American Dream is now a phrase known around the world. People travel from all corners of the earth for the opportunity to live this dream. The American Dream is what the average American thrives on each and every day in their daily life. However, the current economic climate is gradually putting this dream out of their reach. There are many contributing factors to Americas current economy as well as why the dream is no longer as attainable as it once was. The Great Recession of 2008 continues to have a huge impact on most Americans. With the cost of college soaring through the roof Americans fear the financial strike it will have on their lives. There is also the fact that society isn’t what it used to be with today’s market playing a significant role.

One of the key factors in being able to attain the American dream is having a good education to support yourself. However a lack of quality and access to a good education has quickly become a barrier to the dream. What was once a simple solution to living a better life is now an obstacle on the road to success. For some being able to attend college is a dream all on its own. However, the reality is most people cannot afford college on their own and are forced to borrow from relatives or the bank. Having to take out a student loan has become a norm. The increasing rate of tuition is leaving “ninety four percent of students who earn a bachelors degree borrowing to pay for a higher education”. () Having to take out loans from the bank can be a worrisome thing. Luckily “in 2007, congress made sure the interest rates on many of those loans were well below commercial rate”. () This action helped students keep a little extra money in their pockets. Unfortunately things may be about to change. “There is currently a debate over keeping those lower rates from doubling in July”. () For students who are currently in school this could be a huge burden. There focus is mainly keeping up with their education not their loans. Interest rates could hit them hard and possibly give them a financial scare which could result in them dropping out of college or even fall behind because they focus becomes working to make money. The aftermath of taking out a student loan is usually debt. For some this debt can be crippling and for others it will take a lot of hard work to pay off. For those who are more fortunate this debt can be easily paid off and there is even a small group of people who don’t have to worry about their extremely high priced education because their parents can easily afford it. Yet once again that group of people is extremely small. It’s that group that most people can only dream of becoming a part of. They have even been giving the name of the tiny elite. Back to reality, “the current balance of federal student loans nation wide is $902 billion with an additional $140 or so in private loans”. () The price of a good education has become absolutely outrageous according to most citizens. Financial aid does play a helping hand for most students with education-related expenses but it does not avoid debt. “Almost all colleges promote the money they give away in financial aid, though generally only the most elite schools are able to provide enough to significantly keep student debt down”. () The financial aid award letters to newly admitted students can also be a minefield for students and parents sorting through the cost of school. “Many students and parents don’t have a firm understanding of the cost of attending college, or the amount of debt they will incur. And most colleges aren’t much help. Student debt is not their...
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