Opinion: College has become unaffordable for many

The price of college has become an unnecessary inconvenience for families and students

Alayna Dill, JagWire reporter/photographer

As a junior starting the journey for a college, it has come to my attention how unaffordable college has become. Over the past four decades, college prices have increased over 213% at public schools, as reported by University of the People, making it so that students are forced to take out thousands of dollars in student loans. 

According to Business Insider, college is becoming more expensive due to a variety of factors, including a lack of state funding, an increase in financial aid, and a surge in demand. Only one of these factors is a reasonable excuse for colleges to increase prices. A decrease in state funding forces colleges to charge more so they can continue to run athletic programs and provide scholarships. This is reasonable, as students want the option of joining different activities, but a surge in demand does not mean that colleges should hike up their prices to unreachable heights. An increase in financial aid, while at first seems like a good reason to increase prices, is not a reason to increase prices either, as colleges should be working to decrease their prices. Even though financial aid is needed, colleges cannot increase prices for all students to give aid to a select group.

This increase in prices has caused a student debt crisis, with $1.5 trillion in student loan debt collectively allocated between 44 million Americans. The crisis has caused the worth of college degrees to go down, as the average student acquires about $30,000 in debt and a degree no longer automatically gains you a ticket to middle class life. 

In order to eliminate or at least decrease the high cost of higher education and make it more accessible to students with lower family income, the government should give funding to all colleges. While education is handled on a state to state basis, the government needs to recognize the student debt crisis and step in, making it easier for all students.   

Until a solution to this problem is found, both future and current college students can get financial relief by applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aide, or FAFSA, where the government grants people money for college depending on their family’s annual income. Another way to earn money is by applying for multiple scholarships in order to get college money by simply qualifying or writing an essay. 

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