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Should The U.S. Government Limit Tuition Increases At Colleges And Universities?

2332 words - 10 pages

Ashley Morrison

Political Science

Policy Memo

5/16/14

Should the U.S. government limit tuition increases at colleges and universities?

Marleen Clapp, a doctorate holder in higher education administration from Boston believes “In many aspects, a four-year college degree has essentially replaced the high school diploma as the necessary preparation for a career in the modern information economy. Higher-order skills, including critical- and creative-thinking abilities, are often required to compete globally” (Driscoll, Clapp). In this day in age, a high school diploma can only get an individual so far. The importance of college in the United States has been continually growing. While the importance of getting a higher education has grown, college tuition prices have risen as well.

Between the fiscal years of 2008 and 2014 the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed in multiple states. Arizona saw an increase of 80.6%, Nevada with 44%, California with 62.4% Minnesota with 19.5%, and Maryland with the lowest of 3.1%. The United States average increase of college tuition for the fiscal years of 2008 and 2014 was 28.2%. The reason for the increases in college tuition come from the recessions the country has experienced. When there is a recession, the funding is cut for the universities causing them to either cut services or raise tuition prices. Tyler Durden, author of “The Shocking Increase of College Tuition By State” explains, “Today, tuition revenue now outweighs government funding for higher education in 23 states-asking students and families to shoulder higher education costs by a ratio of at least 2-to-1”. Basically, college students are making up for the education cuts with their tuition (Durden).

The issue of college tuition increases affects all students out of high school. In 2013, there was a total of 17,487,475 college students enrolled in a total of 4,140 institutions. The institutions include public 4 year, private 4-year, public 2-year, and private 2-year institutions. Broken down even further there were 14,473,884 undergraduates, 2,097,511 graduates, and 329,076 professional students enrolled. Whether they were an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student, they were affected by the rising costs of tuition (“College”). The government should be involved in this issue because the rising prices have caused extreme student debt. Most college students pay for their tuition through student loans, grants, scholarships, or out of pocket money they have saved up. In 2009 the federal student loans was around $150,000,000. In 2013 it jumped to a little over $700,000,000. Colleges are able to increase tuition prices as much as they please because students all over the world will still attend college no matter the cost. Students have been told that the only way to get a well paying job is to have a degree, so they are willing to take out as many loans as need be. Durden also concludes, “Student debt being so easily accessible...

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