Possibility Of Today’s Children Becoming Successful Versus Rising University Tuition
Imagine this: you are a talented, capable 18-year-old. Your biggest dream is to become a human rights lawyer and help change the world. To do this, you need to go to college and get the best education you can. However, you don’t have the cushioning of a family that is able to support the cost of your dreams, so you decide to get a federal loan to be able to pay your expensive college tuition. Years later, you realize you have started out your entire adult life hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt– and the road to financial stability is far, far away. Today, this is the story of millions of Americans that went to college to be able to obtain a better life but are now stuck in debt due to the expensive fees. Nevertheless, the choice to decrease the cost of college must be fully analyzed from both viewpoints.
The cost of getting a degree is mounting by the day, yet so are the facilities and options that colleges offer. Today, colleges are not just places to receive an education- they fund research, organize sports teams that are recognized worldwide, are homes to beautiful campuses, and open up a new world to the millions of students that move away from home to attend them. These opportunities are funded by the very tuition students pay, along with beneficiaries and state funding. For example, Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford fund research that is widely accepted in the scientific community.
The students that attend these institutions benefit from the experience that the research programs offer and often cite their college research knowledge in resumes and job interviews. Equally important, many other schools focus on a specific sport, which can vary from dance to basketball, and provide opportunities for athletes, including the chance to be noticed by a scout or learn more about their passion. Furthermore, most colleges spend their money updating their infrastructure and bettering the look of their campus, and therefore, the overall rank of their university. Infrastructure also motivates many possible incoming students to come study at a beautiful campus and keeps the university up to par with today’s demands. All in all, today’s students are paying for the numerous opportunities, advantages, and facilities they receive. However, is the cost really justified? College athletes indeed deserve the advantages they get, but a student that doesn’t use the advanced facilities created for a sport shouldn’t have to pay for them.
Students should not have their tuition money used for research that will never support them in getting their degree. Many schools also wrongly prioritize their infrastructure, but while a school should be safely built, the extra decorative touches will only increase the college’s debt, and therefore the student debt. In addition, many colleges prioritize the look of their campus over the quality of their education, professors, and materials. Colleges that do utilize a significant part of their tuition collections to bring renowned professors find educators that are only interested in the research funding the school offers, yet don’t have a genuine interest in teaching the workforce of tomorrow. According to Nathan Lewis from Forbes business magazine, college tuition is especially high today because of the drop in state funding after the Great Recession of 2008. Many states pulled funding out of the state schools- state schools that were supposed to be cheaper, easier, and closer options to thousands of students. These colleges, in turn, increased their tuition costs to be able to pay for their numerous programs and ended up deterring thousands of students who couldn’t possibly pay the mounting college costs. Post the recession, the cost of college has been rising eight times faster than the average salary. If a student does decide to take on debt, how will they possibly pay it back? As for rank, some of the top colleges in the country are specifically private institutions and have significantly higher tuition costs because of the lack of state funding.
In contrast, some of the best universities in the country include UCLA and UIUC, which are both top quality universities that are state-funded and have lower tuition costs. At the same time, the cost of a secondary education in all higher education institutions has only been rising, and with the desire for better infrastructure, aesthetic, and rank, the cost will only rise until it is unpayable. The college student who wants to become a human rights lawyer shouldn’t have to sacrifice their financial stability for the chance to fulfill a dream. If we only increase the funding for necessities, reduce the importance of beautification, and increase the importance for excellent resources, we can have a generation that doesn’t have debilitating debt over a right that we all deserve- the right to an education. With a decrease in the cost of college, the possibility of today’s children becoming successful, financially stable adults of tomorrow only increase.