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At a time when a college degree is recognized as a necessity and not just a luxury, the fact that the rising cost of tuition has kept it unattainable for so many is shocking. Throughout the years it seems as if the price tag for a college education has gotten a bit too carried away. Decades ago, the decision to continue into higher education was a way of securing ones’ future as well as helping them survive in the world, where now it seems students are starting to comprehend that it is a way to secure substantial debt with hopes of leaving with a degree. While the cost of tuition continues to remain around six percent above the national inflation rate, one must ponder whether it is worth it to attend college. When looking at tuition for a four-year private university, the average price was $31, 231 compared to a public four-year college where the average price was roughly $9, 139. Factoring in the normal inflation rates from 1971, a private university should only be charging their students $1, 832, and the price for a public college wouldn’t have even cost the student $500, as mentioned in the article John Schoen wrote on cnbc. com. Now with that being said, it is no surprise that this has led to many low-income families seeing college as unattainable and find themselves looking for careers that do not require degrees. As the cost of tuition continues to rise through the years, it has made it difficult for students to obtain a degree without having to incur a hefty amount of student loan debt.
Mary Bromley, writer for cornerstone. edu, mentions that most students will accept any, and all, aid that they can get their hands on once they are offered it. In the process of doing this, they potentially fail to weigh what long-term financial risks they receive once they earn that degree. In doing so we have managed to accumulate a student loan debt that is currently teetering on exceeding $1. 5 trillion dollars. This is a big jump from 2010 when the loan debt was still incredibly high but was sitting around $830 billion dollars. This also marked the year when student loan debt finally surpassed our nations credit card debt that set at $825 billion dollars, as mentioned by Jennifer Wadia on studentdebtrelief. us. All the while students have the mindset that the debt will get paid back in time as soon as they get a well-paying job, so they do not pay any mind to it when accepting them. The sad part in all of this is that some of the students that are taking on these debts end up dropping out, for reasons that vary with every student, but are still burdened with whatever student debt that they incurred while attending. While tuition has played a substantial factor in those looking to attend school, it has also remained a major factor in college graduation rates as these have started falling over the years.
According to Adam Mantilla, a writer for northwesternbusinessreview. org, in 1995, the United States was ranked first in graduation rates out of all of the thirty-five-member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Unfortunately, since then the U. S. has managed to slide down the ranks to nineteenth on that list. Also, in doing so the U. S. has been able to boast a college rate of graduation of only forty percent, putting us behind Poland with fifty-three percent and Iceland’s sixty percent. This may not seem like much but when the main cause for this decline is based solely on an inability to pay for courses as opposed to those unable to maintain the grades and flunking out or choosing to simply give up. As more and more young adults are taking that step to better themselves, they look to higher education. In doing so, students are hoping to obtain the experience and credentials needed to help them get ahead and stay ahead in the world today.
Students should be focused on achieving and maintaining the grades needed to pass each course and shouldn’t be stressing out over concerns they are having with paying their college tuition. A college degree has ventured further and further away from being an option and become more of a requirement to obtain a prosperous career. Sadly, this choice has become out of reach for so many students and seems as though it will continue to get further and further out of reach with each passing year.
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