April 13th, 2015
College Tuition Satire
Even when life seems to be changing rapidly and it appears that nothing stays the same, we know there is one thing that will almost always remain constant: the rising price of college tuition. For the past thirty years this issue has been plaguing the United States and college students alike. In recent years it has become even worse – in fact, the cost of college tuition today is 400% more than what it was thirty years ago. The average college student’s debt today is $23,700 with the average loan debt being $432 per month – over 10% of typical monthly earnings at a post college job. These colleges claim to be “building future leaders” and “preparing you for the real world.” The irony is that they are causing the problem to begin with. Personally, I have felt the heavy burden of college debt already, and have done everything I could to prepare myself. I took eight AP classes in order to take a whole year off college, with much success taking over $30,000 off and graduating a year early, and I come home every day and fill out scholarship after scholarship with my mother. I think we’ve reached the 100 mark last week. My grades and test scores even qualified me for a $8000 renewable scholarship from the school. Even with a whole year of college off and countless scholarships, we don’t know if I can afford college. If something isn’t done to solve this issue the majority of students will live the rest of their lives in debt and under financial burden. That is why I propose a simple, yet ingenious and innovative, solution. The revolutionary theory engenders an “everyone wins” approach. All this solution requires is for students to make an easy choice – Nobody apply for or attend college. We should retaliate. Not only will most students be better off by not going to college and receiving a colossal debt from greedy college institutions, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Imagine this scenario: a national movement of students refusing to go to college. The whole college system will collapse from lack of funds and lack of students. That puts us in control. Now an obvious rebuttal would be that college is a place where we learn in our future occupation. Well… Somewhat. Most colleges require about two years worth of General Education credits to make the students “well-rounded.” Sounds more like a money scheme to me. At some point or another most teenagers in high school learn to teach themselves. There’s plenty of resources out there, including the internet, internships at a job, vocational schools, etc. So why pay a teacher to do what we could do ourselves for much cheaper or even free? If the college system collapses, or is at least severely damaged, businesses will be more open to internships and hands on experience showing out of high school students exactly what they need to know, not what they might need to know. This system will also be much more efficient because it prepares students for specialization, pursuing a particular line of study or work, which our economy is based around. English majors will not need to calculate the area of a backyard pool, so why should they be learning calculus? These disparate fields stymie specialization, and incline more towards generalization. Normally college students will sit at a desk and be so stressed at trying to maintain social, educational, and work life, that they just sit their unmotivated and nobody wins. However, this system combines the educational and work life into one, so not only will the students have more free time and be less stressed, but it produces workers more focused to what their actual job will be, hence more efficient. This system takes students from paying heavy fines for their education and being partially ready for their line of work, to being completely ready for their line of work and actually getting paid to do so! This will work for many occupations. Do you dream of being a pastor? Learn under a pastor! Are you inspired to be a computer programmer? Research the topic on the internet, then go work! Want to be a chef? Learn from online tutorials or work at a restaurant! Of course there are a few exceptions – doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc. But the difference here is that these are all high paying jobs right out of college. So debt will not be a problem. Certain institutions could be made for these fields with a specific focus instead of generalized classes. This pioneering solution will not only make students more specialized in their field of choice, but employers get an exceptionally focused labor force, and students will be able to afford more without the debt and feed the money back into the economy. Everybody wins. In the likely case of the world not being ready for this measure yet, I offer another solution that will aid in the reduction of college tuition. There's not too much we can do to cut college tuition at a national level short of proposing laws to command colleges to lower tuition. However, one idea is to rid colleges of required general education classes and make them strictly electives. Half of the cost for classes is towards general education classes. If you cut those, not only does the cost for classes cut in half, but graduates can graduate earlier and spend more time focusing on their major. Therefore making better candidates for the workforce in less debt, and able to put more money into the economy. Another action is to propose laws to force colleges to not sit on their funds and give away many more scholarships and aid, which they can definitely afford. On a more personal level, we need to educate incoming college students about the multiple resources to lowering what they personally will pay for college. One way is to go to community college, either for two years or all the way through. Community College is a much cheaper option than any other alternative, and it is also good for those who want to finish their general education classes for a cheap amount. Another way is to educate high school students on the importance of AP or CLEP exams, where students can earn college credit for much cheaper, and possibly take a whole year off of college. Free money for college is out all around the internet, one just has to look -- that's why only applying for a few scholarships is a bad idea. There are so many out there, and the average student only receives aid from 1/10 scholarships they fill out. Then there are many practical options, like comparing housing options, leaving your car at home, using used textbooks, avoiding credit cards, choosing the right meal plan, and graduating on time, because most students don't. Another useful opportunity is to work while you are in school, even if it won't put a huge dent in your financial aid, it is definitely useful spending money and for quick cash. The dangerous rising college tuition is coming to the point where laws will be passed at some point, it is just a matter of when. So in the mean time, the best way to save money and lower college tuition is to act smart with your money, and utilize all opportunities available to you.
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