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Education is an essential factor in today’s society influencing our choices from right to wrong, how we act, and what path we choose to follow for our future. Education can be connected to the conflict theory with the fact that there will always be a competition between success, wealth, and power in society. Conflict theorists believe that there is a divide between classes in the educational system, giving the wealthy a greater advantage against the working class with the rise of tuition costs. They believe this because of financial disadvantages of the working class, racial inequalities, and student loan debt.
The working class has financial disadvantages when it comes to education causing those individuals to not pursue higher education because the rise in tuition costs. With the increase in financial aid, according to Business Insider, they state “ knowing students will get this financial aid money, the university raises fees and takes advantage” in which increases the cost of tuition even though students are still getting financial help. This relates to the Bennett Hypothesis, which basically says that if Federal aid rises so will the cost in tuition. This negatively impacts the working class drastically because more and more students are falling behind in student debt which ultimately hurts their future. With the rise in tuition costs, more students are prone to dropping out of college and many even not even attempting admissions because they will still end up with loads of student loans even with the help of financial aid. And because of the fact that inflation is a huge problem in our country, it’ll only get worse and tuition costs are only going to continue to increase. Furthermore, according to statistical measures, students that choose not to further their education after high school have a harder time finding stable living jobs, and face high unemployment rates verses students with college degrees. This is pretty reasonable and understandable considering the more education you have the better chance you have at getting a higher paying job and more of a benefit rather than having just high school level education. But since tuition costs are increasing, many low income families choose not to pursue college which causes them to have higher unemployment rates and lower weekly earnings. Not only does living off high school level education provide less opportunities, it also hurts the chance of earning a livable and stable life. Continuing on, while tuition costs are rising, student debt is doubling. According to Slate, “schools raised tuition by 60-70 cents for each extra dollar subsidized student loans.” therefore showing that colleges have been taking advantage of federal aid money and raising their prices on tuition. With that said, many students are not even considering college because the thought of student debt outweighing what their degree will provide. Especially with the possibility of scarce jobs after graduation, student debt will continue to build if the individual cannot find a proper job. With that said, rising tuition costs are the reason many low income families choose not to pursue college careers because of the financial disadvantages that come with it.
Racial inequalities affect the way people of color think about college, and with the rising tuition costs it becomes even harder for them to plan their future. When people of color come into contact with the loan system, not all of them have the same advantage as white families which indefinitely makes it tougher on them. There is a contrast between people of color and white individuals considering the term “white privilege” creates this bias between races that allow one to have more of an advantage versus the others. As said on Marketwatch, “a college degree is an investment that pays off, on average, students of color and black students in particular, the risk that won’t pay off is much higher” which come with many different reasons we still see today, limited resources, racism, facing financial barriers and so on. People of color face a much harder side of the college experience against white individuals. With racism and discrimination still apparent today people of color have to work 10 times harder than the average white individual. And with the cost of rising tuition at stake less and less people of color are considering college as an option. Now going off of that topic, statistically looking at discrimination in the credential society, based on the results of employer responses by race, white candidates are 1.5 times more likely to get a response against black candidates. That difference is drastic when looking at these percentages because there is a huge gap between these two races because of discrimination in the working place. If black families have a lower rate of employment then it’ll be harder for their children to pursue a college education because of lack of financial stability. Continuing my research, I found that black students take on 85% more educational debt compared to white students. This fact also plays into the inequality factor when looking at rising tuition costs between races. Not only is it unequal, but also causes black individuals to suffer more of financial distress compared to white individuals. With this divide between races, it causes unreasonable just and racial inequality when looking at rising tuition costs.
Moreover, the rise in cost of tuition has skyrocketed student debt. According to A Generation Indebted, they claim that today’s society has gotten essentially lazier when reaching adulthood; moving at a slower pace than early baby boomers. In which goes to explain why students are accumulating more debt rather than paying it back, since they move at a slower pace it takes them longer to find a stable job for their future. But within the last decade student debt has doubled having many students left with this huge pile to repay. And with rising tuition costs it doesn’t help any but cause students to dig themselves deeper. Now the reason student debt is so high is because the cost of tuition has risen and the increase in tuition costs is because of the increased demand of colleges and universities. A suggestion to decrease these amounts is mainly based on the government and where they send their government money too(financial aid), if they start dispersing it to students who actually need it maybe the rising costs would slowly decrease. Looking at another side, Forbes claimed “Education-related debt impacts more than 44 million of us who owe $1.5 trillion making the burden of education the country’s second largest debt.” Student debt not only affects individual students, but it affects everyone in the US and economy. And with rising tuition costs, it’ll only get worse and only create bigger problems in today’s society. With that said, student debt has been one of the main factors when researching, not saying that it is the main reason but there is a heavy correlation between the two. Therefore, student debt is a leading cause when it comes to rising tuition costs.
In conclusion, based on the financial disadvantages of the working class, racial inequalities, and student loan debt, these factors have been affected by the rising costs of tuition. Without the foundation of education, an individual will have a hard time finding a proper source of income thus leading to many financial problems. With that said, many families choose not to pursue college because the rapid increase in tuition costs.
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