There is a need to reduce the cost of college tuition in America. The rising costs threaten the ability and desire of students to attend college, but there are ways for both parents and students to make going to college more affordable.
The Need to Reduce College Tuition
With the cost of education on the rise, students are asking that time aged question, will they be able to attend college? The answer is yes, and without taking on the burden of overpriced tuition fees and loans. Attending community college has become a trend across the country and offer continuing education with little to no direct cost to students. Dual enrollment options, where a student can take a class that counts towards both high school and college credits are becoming increasingly popular with a large proportion of these students enrolling through two-year colleges and universities. Economic downturns are also believed to attract many students to community colleges, acting as a more affordable route to higher education at a time when money is tight and jobs are scarce. In 2007, 6.3 million students enrolled in community colleges in the United States, representing 34 percent of all undergraduates, and 46 percent of all undergraduates at public institutions. (25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College Tuition, 2006)
Community college enrollments have grown considerably over the last half-century, reflecting a general increase in demand for postsecondary degrees seen in this period. However, little attention is given to the fact that community colleges have quietly gained not only in enrollments, but in public institution market share as well (25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College Tuition, 2006). Colleges and universities are not in a position to give you a discount on the cost of tuition. What they can do, however, is offer you gift aid in the form of scholarships, grants and work-study programs to reduce your out-of-pocket cost of attendance. Even if you’ve been awarded some gift aid from the school in your financial aid award letter, there may be additional aid available that the school can use to attract desirable candidates (Negotiating Your College Tuition, 2012).
Once you’ve been accepted to a colleges or university, look at their published tuition rates and your financial situation. While public colleges will generally have a lower tuition, keep in mind that private, non-profit colleges are more dependent on tuition money, so they may be especially willing to make a deal with you – receiving less tuition money from a student is better than receiving no money at all, and you should always ask about other monies that may be available through programs and scholarships. If you do not ask, the school will not divulge this information willingly (Negotiating Your College Tuition, 2012).
President Obama offered a plan Friday to reduce the costs of higher education by increasing the amount of federal grant money available for low-interest loans and tying it directly to colleges’ ability to reduce tuition (WP Politics, 2012). In an impassioned speech before 4,000 students at the University of Michigan, Obama delivered an election-year pitch to the type of youthful audience that buoyed his 2008 campaign, saying his administration was putting colleges “on notice” that they must rein in soaring prices. (WP Politics, 2012).
“You can’t assume you’ll just jack up tuition every single year,” Obama said to cheers at Glick Field House (Obama, 2012), the school’s indoor football facility. “If you can’t stop tuition going up, your funding from taxpayers will go down. We should push colleges to do better; we should hold them accountable if they don’t” (Obama, 2012).
With all the talk during the run for president, it will be great to see if all the plans for college tuition being lowered are true. We have thousands of students graduating from colleges across the country, and if they cannot find jobs that will pay them enough to pay back student loans, they will find themselves drowning in debt, and this will not be good for the student or the economy. These people will not be able to establish credit, buy a home or even purchase a vehicle. They will fall further in debt as the interest rate on the loan accumulates. This is why tuition fees need to be reduced, so even if a student does not come straight out of school with a high paying job, they will be able to make affordable payments on their loans without being overwhelmed. Tuition fees are scary.
25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College Tuition. (2006, September). Retrieved from Center for College affordability: http://centerforcollegeaffordability.org/uploads/25Ways_to_Reduce_the_Cost_of_College.pdf Negotiating Your College Tuition. (2012). Retrieved from Campus Explorer: http://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/422D4AF3/Negotiating-Your-College-Tuition/ WP Politics. (2012, November 02). Retrieved from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-outlines-incentive-plan-to-reduce-college-tuition-costs/2012/01/27/gIQAc92fVQ_story.html
Courtney from Study Moose