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It is no secret that going to college is expensive. However, it is just what today’s society is used to. Today’s students are somewhat pressured into going to college if they want a stable, well-paying job. These students may or may not take into account that if they take out student loans, they will be in debt for years after they graduate. Then, they may question why an education that is supposed to help them earn so much money, is costing them so much money. John W. Shoen explains his reasons for why college tuition has risen so much in his article “Why Does a College Degree Cost so Much?”
John W. Shoen wrote the article “Why Does a College Degree Cost so Much?” to inform readers why tuition costs keep rising, as well as introduce the problem of how expensive a higher education is. Shoen, an economics reporter for CNBC, uses a variety of resources to attempt to reach the audience’s sense of logic. For starters, he cites several research studies and organizations such as The Delta Research Project and The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as well as interviewing professors and other staff members from a variety of colleges. Shoen also appeals to readers’ sense of logic through graphs, which shows the rise of the cost of tuition in relation to the rise of inflation and Consumer Price Index (CPI), as well as other graphs associated with what exactly colleges spend their money on, and where they get their money from. He also uses an interactive map, which tells the amount of money each state, as well as each college and university, receives from endowments.
All of the above resources, help the audience understand the reasons as to why college tuition keeps rising. The audience at first appears to be reaching toward anyone who is interested in the subject such as students, future students, and their parents, or those who pay for a higher education. On a deeper level, in addition to stating facts to help the general public understand why they are paying so much for college, Shoen also seems to be introducing a problem. Therefore, the intended audience is government officials, and colleges and universities, who can directly work to lower the cost of tuition. In both cases, the author absolutely gets his point across to inform people of the problem of how expensive a higher education it is, and informs his readers of why that is the case, which in return, readers can take his findings and search for solutions.
While the article is quite lengthy, Shoen’s language is relatively easy to follow. He does a great job of transitioning from paragraph to paragraph, and while he states several facts, none of them are repetitive and keeps the article interesting. His use of graphics keeps the article interesting as well by breaking up the article, as well as summarizing his information, so if a reader gets lost, or does not fully understand the text, the graphics can help them understand or answer some unanswered questions. In addition to using graphics to break up the information, Shoen also uses headings. These headings also help navigate through the paper. Each heading is dedicated to one of his reasons for why the cost of tuition is rising. For example, under the heading “Climbing Walls, Lazy Rivers,” Shoen discusses how colleges and universities are competing for the top students, and to do this they build top notch facilities and hire the best professors in order to convince students to attend their college (Shoen). Overall, the layout of the article helps Shoen get his point across to his readers.
In conclusion, Shoen’s article opens up a larger conversation for readers to open up. Some readers can refer to his article for facts on persuading why the cost of tuition should remain the same, or be lowered. Also, since Shoen does a great job of laying out his reasons for why the cost of tuition keeps rising, as well as using accurate and useful information to back his reasons up, readers can also use this article to propose a solution on how to lower the cost. This article also brings attention to the issue of the cost of tuition, which can be picked up by government officials in charge of spending on education, or it can start activist groups, who may promote their time to convince government policies to change on education, or convince colleges and universities to lower the cost of tuition and cut back on spending.
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