Growing up in American society, the importance of education is stressed starting at the most primitive stages of development. A college education is significant in regard to success, especially in a society with a competitive job market and with individuals who want to make the greatest amount of income possible. For some students, financing college is not an issue while others may struggle to find monetary solutions. Money should not be a factor in a student’s decision-making process when deciding what college to attend, but unfortunately many people are unable to attend the university of their choice due to the high tuition costs. Universities offer many forms of aid in paying for college, however the increasing prices of tuition still make it impossible for many people to afford higher education.
In today’s society, the average revenue for middle class families is about $49,500. This is slightly more than the tuition of many colleges. The lack of income makes it impossible for a family to afford college. As the price of tuition continues to increase faster than most families’ incomes, each year fewer students are able to attend college. The increase in tuition is problematic because a family hardly has the money to afford the initial expenses in the first place. This circumstance places restrictions on many people’s ability to attend and pay for college. A person’s education should not be limited due to their income.
All students have the right to know what their tuition money is going toward and why prices are increasing more rapidly. It could be presumed by the average bystander that prices are increasing because more finances are needed to fund the institution. However, there is no valid documentation that specifies what every denomination of tuition pays for. It is only stated vaguely that it goes toward “administrative costs, faculty salaries, technology, etc. But why are the costs rising? I believe universities raise tuition simply because they can. This makes me wonder if universities are cheating us of our money since they are not obligated to document where tuition is going. In order to avoid misperceptions from students and parents who want explanations, the government should mandate institutions to have documentation of what tuition is funding.
Financial aid is a prevalent choice for students to fund their college education. Students and their families are obligated the pay the “Expected Family Contribution” of their education based on a family’s income and other financial assets. After determining the families expected contribution, FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) distributes what is left into loans, grants, and work-study. All loans must be paid back however grants do not. Work-study is money given to students by the government for working on campus. Although most students do obtain some form of federal financial aid in which two-thirds comes from the government, more than half comes in the form of loans that must be paid back by the student.
Many students have the additional pressure of paying for their own tuition. They are forced to maintain jobs as well as preserve their academic schedule. Some damaging effects of having a job while in school may include “lack of sleep, insufficient time concentrate on course work, decreasing social time, and struggles with extracurricular activities”. When a is student is repetitively fatigued from working all the time and staying up late to study, they will not be able to give their greatest effort when it comes to learning. Many students can work a job, hardly study, and pull off a ‘C-‘ in a class. If tuition prices were lowered, students would be able to work less and put an additional effort into focusing on education, which is why they are attending college in the first place.
Although it often comes at a higher price, a college education has become very imperative in today’s society. It has become much more difficult to make a decent living with just a high school diploma. A person graduating with a Bachelor’s degree has been shown to make nearly twice as much, as someone with only a high school diploma. Because a degree is crucial for earning a good living, many students take out loans, utilize financial aid, or even pay out of pocket for college. Majority of US residents disagree with the increasing price of college tuition. I believe if prices were lowered, more individuals would be able to afford higher education, which would provide them with more opportunities to have a decent job. This in turn could lead to lower unemployment rates.