College Tuition Still Rising

Isabella Gallardo, Staff Writer

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The average cost of tuition across the United States continues to steadily increase, along with the total level of student debt outstanding at more than $1.4 trillion, parents, students and researchers are now asking: How is this sustainable? Almost every job with good pay requires more than the bare minimum of a high school diploma.  The fact is, college tuition is generally around $9,000 for instate fees, and it will keep rising unless major change happens.  

College tuition fees didn’t always cost this much. College tuition fees have been steadily rising every year. “If you look at the long term trend, tuition has been rising almost six percent above the rate of inflation,” said Ray Frankie, a professor of education at University of Massachusetts, Boston. So then that draws the question, is college worth abundant financial debt? It’s not just colleges like Harvard that are doing it though: public four-year schools, tuition and fees cost about $9,139 this year. Compared to in the 1971 school year, they added up to less than $500 in current dollars. This fall, Harvard’s annual tuition and fees will cost you nearly $45,278, more than 17 times the 1971-72 costs.

 

In 2015, about 13.5 percent of the U.S. population was living in poverty. The child poverty rate, which represents people under the age of 18 living in poverty, has been growing steadily over the last decade, from 16.2 percent of the children living below the poverty line in year 2000 to 19.7 percent in 2015. Yet tuition continues to rise, around 100 billion a year is borrowed through a cottage industry of private and publicly-funded loan program, leaving American’s to struggle with a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.

Others think that high tuition can actually help those who have less money. The argument is that the absurd interest rates are based on what that student can actually afford to pay.  A higher price paid by wealthy students can raise more revenue, which can be used to subsidize poor students. By saying those who can afford to pay will help the poor is categorizing everyone that can’t pay those absurd rates “poor,”  which is the mass majority of the American citizens. If increasing tuition results in helping the poor then why are Americans’ still struggling with a collective $1.4 trillion in college tuition debt. The truth is because we continue to throw money at the problem, creating more loans isn’t helping the students. It is sending into immense debt that they may not even realize.

 

Instead of always using money and programs to fix problems why not attack the root of the problem? Lowering college tuition rates isn’t such a deranged idea when you look at other countries that have free tuition rates like Germany, France, Norway, who have been successful in lowering tuition. Everyone deserves to have a chance at a good education whether they are well-off or not. 

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