The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Opinion: The soaring price of college tuition negatively impacts students

With the ever-rising rates of college tuition, more students fall into a mental and financial spiral. However, many countries offer alternatives and the US should too.
By Sophia Estes

As many of us start looking into college, there is one aspect that amazes many; the sheer price of getting a higher education. The average tuition for college in the US is $19,806. But that’s not including the cost of textbooks, housing, fees, student loan interest, day to day living, and the many other expenses associated with college. Keeping all of these in mind, a bachelor’s degree can cost more than $500,000.

The financial burdens of college tuition are a leading reason for depression and suicide among teens and young adults. The highest rates of depression were found among people from 16-24 years old. This can be tied down to the anxiety and pressure that comes from preparing for college.

But there is a simple fix to this: free or at least reduced college tuition.

Many countries, such as Argentina, Greece, and Norway, offer completely free college tuition into public colleges only. Others, like Finland, Sweden and Denmark, offer free higher education, regardless of the college, to citizens only. Some go as far as offering completely free college to citizens and international students, including Brazil, Germany and Iceland. But many countries that do not offer free college to international students do offer the same courses at a hugely discounted rate. For instance, in Greece students can pay around $1,500 for an entire year to just about any college.

These amazing benefits substantially lower the depression rates for these countries. In Sweden only 4.1% of people ages 16-24 are diagnosed with depression. For comparison, the US has 34.3% of individuals, ages of 16-24, who have been diagnosed with depression. This major difference can be tied down to many different factors, but the financial stress that comes with preparing for college is a leading cause.

Lowering or completely abolishing the prices of college tuition would not only lower suicide and depression, but it would give more people to go to college and get a proper education. Getting a proper education leads to better paying jobs and therefore lowering the poverty rates of the US.

Many believe that having lowered or free college tuition would cause our college system to collapse. How are colleges supposed to run if they aren’t sucking money out of students? That is where the government should step in. In Sweden, colleges receive grants based on the amount of students they have along with their academic achievements. This ensures that the students do not have to pay for college and that the colleges are still doing their job and not handing out degrees.

Because college tuition is not regulated by the government, colleges can charge whatever they want and completely get away with it. This is one of the many reasons tuition costs so much. Many now believe that if colleges refuse to at least lower their rates, the government needs to get involved and set maximum price limits for college tuition.

While none of us truly know what will happen with college tuition, we desperately hope to see change soon. We already have so many things to worry about while planning for college. Worrying if going to college will send you into a financial spiral should not be on the list.

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About the Contributors
Kaitlyn Hood
Kaitlyn Hood, JAG reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Kaitlyn Hood’s first year on the JAG yearbook staff and she will be taking on the positions of writer and photographer. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she is likely in the kitchen baking. She loves spending time with family, painting, writing poetry, dreaming up stories or proudly showing off her Scottish heritage.
Sophia Estes
Sophia Estes, JAG editor-in-chief
This is senior Sophia Estes’s third year on the JAG yearbook staff. This year she will be taking on the position of JAG Editor-in-Chief.  When Sophia is not writing for the yearbook, you can find her in Jag Chorale and dancing competitively. She also enjoys reading, hanging out with her friends, listening to music and spending time with her dog.

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