The High Price of Higher Education
In America's society today, students are expected to follow the path of day care, grade school, middle school, high school and hopefully college. Growing up in America today, the importance of education is stressed starting at the earliest stages of development. In a world with a competitive job market and with citizens who want to make the most money that they can, a college education is key in success. For some students, financing college is not a problem. Money should not be a factor in the student's decision-making process when choosing what school to attend, but unfortunately many people are unable to attend the university of their choice due to the high costs. Working through college is not always the best answer because this can have a negative effect on academic performance with the added stress. It is true that financial aid and loans are available, but it is sometimes much harder to take advantage of these than people realize. Although universities offer many forms of aid in paying for college, the continually increasing prices still make it impossible for many people to afford higher education, and lowering prices would be effective in increasing the amount of people able to obtain a college degree. In today's society, the average income for middle class families is $49,500 (Preliminary Estimates). This is only a little more than the tuition of many colleges. This situation makes it impossible for a family to afford college. The price of tuition continues to rise faster than most families' incomes. In the future, this situation is only going to become more severe, allowing even fewer people to get a college education. Something needs to be done about this situation very soon before it becomes too late. Each year fewer students are able to attend college because of their inability to pay. This is unfair, and a situation that our country needs to change. There is substantial evidence that college tuition is continuing to rise across the country. An article in New York Times showed, "Total expenses - including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other expenses - now average $15,566 for an undergraduate student attending a public university in her own state," which has significantly increased from recent years (Tuition Rising). According to Collegeboard, an official website designed to help in the processes of applying and attending college, the cost of four-year public universities has risen by 10.5 percent in just one year from 2004 to 2005; students who began their education at a public institution in 2004 are now paying ten percent more to attend the same school. Also, "Most students and their families can expect to pay, on average, from $167 to $1,132 more than last year for this year's tuition and fees, depending on the type of college," which makes it difficult when a family barely has the money to afford the expenses in the first place (Collegeboard). According to research done by Collegeboard, in the twenty years from 1976 to 1996, the average tuition at public universities increased from $642 up to $3,151. This is a very significant increase and a large sum of money for most anyone in today's society to pay. College tuition is increasing faster than people's incomes. This situation places limits on many people's ability to attend and pay for college. In their book, authors Olive Mills and Logan Wilson state, "It is unthinkable that this generation should be the one to cut back or deny public support of higher education by shifting the burden to the student in the form of higher tuition," which suggests that a person's education should not be limited because of their income (181). Also, most students thought the prices were much too high when compared with the average family income (Meyerson 20). All students have the right to know what their tuition money is going toward and why prices are increasing more...
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