In today’s economy, people all over the United States wonder if a college education will help students reap the same benefits as in the past. Indeed, the debate has turned into a one-sided match about the rising cost of tuition and shrinking graduation rates. Fees for a higher education have risen at an astounding rate every year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms that the cost of a college education has more than doubled over the last ten years. Meanwhile, state and federal funds are decreasing and just cannot support higher education (Mendenhall).
Colleges in this situation receive very little financial support to run their institutions. Students who apply and seek admission into colleges and instructors have become the most affected by this lack of funding. Moreover, the increasing costs of higher education can easily surpass a person’s financial limit, and subsequently discourage the individual, impacting his or her confidence that obtaining a college represents a realistic goal. Despite all counter arguments, a college education is worth paying the tuition and can have important long-term effects on a person’s life.
In 2009, the number of students entering college peaked at seventy percent (Kent). However, more students have dropped out in recent years. Why? Upon taking a deeper look at the statistics behind the cost of a college education, the reason becomes much clearer. The average cost of attending a four-year private university while living on campus approximates thirty-four thousand dollars. On the other hand, students who have other living arrangements typically only pay twenty-four thousand dollars (Kent). The disparity between these costs leads many students to decide to live off-campus because they do not want to pay the enormous difference in cost. In a worst-case scenario, students have chosen to drop out of college entirely, rather than accrue debt they cannot afford. Although the price hikes in college tuition have sparked numerous complaints and protests, people who take an issue with this state of affairs should probably take a less rigid stance because many students do receive financial aid. In fact, Collegeboard points out that in 2009 and 2010, undergraduates received over $154 billion dollars in financial aid. Note that this also includes grants and scholarships given solely by non-profit government agencies. If you check the average amount each individual received in aid, it would equal approximately $11,500 (Collegeboard). Thanks to this financial aid, recipients will not have to pay back a considerable chunk of money to lenders after college. So, even though tuition inflation has skyrocketed these days, if the person meets income eligibility requirements, they can have almost half of their college costs paid for. Private and public four-year universities also aid their admitted applicants with a large percentage of their tuition (Collegeboard).
Research proves that the benefits of going to college...