Is tuition going up too high?

DeAndrea Norman, Staff Writer

Last year I wrote an opinion article on how college should be cheaper for all students because I was not sure that it was reasonable for college to be free. While college tuition costs should be lowered, I do not think those who are middle or lower class should be able to attend college for free.

The average in-state public college tuition is estimated to be almost $10,000 a year and the average out of state tuition over $35,000 a year with over 100 private colleges in the United States topping out at over $50,000 a year. The cost continues to rise, which has left many college graduates in debt, and others deciding to not attend college at all.

While it is true that most students are eligible for grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs that minimize or delay some of these costs, any way you look at it, college is too expensive for most Americans, and the costs keep rising.

Everyone wants to be able to succeed in their life and career, so for most teenagers, entering college is the only option to having a successful career in their chosen field. Choosing to go to college or a university is one of the biggest gambles you can take, and there is no guarantee once you earn your degree(s) that you will find a job, let alone a job that will help you pay back the thousands of dollars most students accumulate in debt.

When applying for college, scholarships are never guaranteed because of strict guidelines and criteria you must meet, and because thousands of students are also applying. So, the next option is student loans, most of which you won’t have to pay back until after college.

We would all love scholarships or a “free ride” to college but for most this does not happen. With our current economy, institutions have to limit their scholarships and financial aid, which means we are taking on more debt than our parents and our grandparents in hopes that we find our dream job after graduation.

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity and dreams. I believe that anyone who is passionate enough to pursue a college education should be provided the opportunity to get one. But for many students who cannot afford to take the gamble that is college, are forced to find jobs that they are not passionate about simply because a college education is too expensive.

I obviously understand that we cannot make college free for everyone, but I do think college should be made more affordable so that everyone, regardless of their economic background, is able to pursue an education that could change their lives. I think students who are less fortunate should still be able to attend college worry-free.

I believe that a college education is a gateway to a better life and better opportunities for everyone. Lower college tuition for lower-income students should be a right, so that everyone, regardless of their economic background, is able to have the same opportunities as their peers who are more fortunate than them.

A college degree is worth a million dollars more than a high school diploma; I just wish that the cost wasn’t so high.