Opinion

College: The New Robber Barons

by Ariel Alexander

Average-College-Debt

 

Colleges and universities overall are monopolies that the government chooses not to gain control of. According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have grown over 1000% since 1978. Senator Tom Harkin said “For millions of young people, rising college costs are putting the American dream on hold, or out of reach.”

College is the crucial factor that dictates the success of the next generations, but businesses have increased their qualifications, forcing more people to return to school and pursue higher degrees. The cost of living continues to go up while prices of everything else fluctuates.

The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was about $32,000 for private institutions and about $24,000 for public universities. Colleges should create more programs that will provide financial assistance to their students. Universities could then use the money that they make to possibly invest back into their students, whether that is supporting a new student-borne business or simply funding tuition for abroad studying programs. If universities could be focused on giving back and making students feel like a worthy investment, parents and future generations would have no problem with paying for college.

Of course we understand that college is an investment; but if we pay so much to universities just for a diploma why can’t they invest some of that money back into their students’ success?

Why do universities ask seniors to fill out FAFSA and note low EFCs, but still expect them to find money stored in their couches? High school seniors have to determine the rest of their lives with one simple decision. A typical high school student is either unemployed, or making just enough money to purchase small gifts for themselves here and there.  Most students do not have to worry about paying bills, and are usually being taken care of by a parent or guardian.

The point is that there are very few parents who are truly able to pay for their child’s education. Colleges ask about parents’ financial information and savings as if every last penny that parents get will go towards paying for their child’s college degree. Once a parent sends their child off to school their life isn’t put on hold. Bills still have to be paid, and they still have countless other responsibilities.

It is undeniably selfish for universities to receive so much money and still have the gall ask struggling parents for over 100 thousand dollars for their child to gain more knowledge. If colleges are really put in place to educate the future generations and make sure the world keeps making progress, why do universities make that almost impossible? How are colleges satisfied with knowing that they start millions and millions of students’ adult lives by piling on their debts?

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Categories: Opinion

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