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Why Is College Tuition Rising So Fast?

The rising college tuition has become a larger and larger issue being brought up more recently. The rising cost of student tuition is no joke and continues to grow as an issue for college students and graduates. The outrageous amount of money not only puts a dent in anyone’s wallet but has many parts that it plays when effect the lives of students mentally and financially, their family’s money, and the economy. Student loan debt not only puts a hold on students’ and graduates’ lives but impacts them drastically on their financial status.

The rising cost causes issues that aren’t being looked at and no one is doing anything about it, as if these high costs are a norm that anyone can afford with loans and help. But getting help is what digs a deeper hole of money for young college students. The amount of student debt is also higher than the national credit card debt going past millions, and someone can still say it’s not impacting the economy just switching the hands of the money.

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Student debt is a crisis and not a small one, causing more damage and clean up for students trying to further their education and life and needs to be lowered before it’s completely out of reach for anyone to help.

The first issue to talk about is how the costs of tuition keep rising every year higher and higher that students must pay. College is seen as a necessity for your future and what comes with a “successful life” by attending college.

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High school students are constantly being talked to about college and where they are going to go, what they want to study, and etc, whether it’s from family, teachers, or college representatives. The issue with this being put on students is that the costs don’t get looked at in real perspective, they are told that they can get a lot of financial help, but never really think about how they are going to pay for it until it’s too late, not all students do this thought. Either way it’s a hard process for high school students to go through. The cost is outrageous and constantly increasing as the years go by, making it harder for families and students to figure out how to try to pay for it.

` It’s contradicting in the way that families want their kids to go to college and succeed and so do the students themselves, but it’s hard for them to want to go to college when the prices are causing a stop since it’s almost unaffordable for most families. According to the article, “Here’s how much more expensive it is for you to go to college than it was for your parents” by Emmie Martin, states that “students at public four-year institutions paid an average of $3,190 intuition for the 1987-1988 school year, thirty years later, that average has risen to $9,970 for the 2017-2018 school year”. Close to $10,000 is a lot of money and that’s only for one semester not including the room, books, and extra fees.

When looking at this graph, you’re seeing how much different colleges cost and how it’s increased from 1987 to 2018. As you can see, as the years progress the lines also increasing upward in price. When applying this to the tuition you can see how much it increases and how it’s different for the types of colleges.

This brings me to my next point is the student loans, and how the government tries to help struggling students pay for college, but in the end, they are still left in tons of debt from taking out student loans because they can’t afford the high prices alone. The amount of the number of students applying for student financial aid is increasing at higher rates than the cost of college is increasing at. In the scholarly article, “The Relationship of Student Loan and Credit Card Debt on Financial Satisfaction of College Students” by Ralph Ferguson and Oscar Solis, states that “the number of students applying for federal financial assistance rose from 19.4 million in 2007-2008 to nearly 31.4 million in the 2011-2012 award years, a 62% increase over a five-year span”. The higher the cost of college becomes the more students are going to be applying for financial aid because they can’t afford it on their own, and the long-term problem is that they are left with being in thousands of dollars of debt even after graduating because they must pay back the loans they take out. People that were once students who are long past college will be repaying the debt for almost the rest of their lives. The rising number of students applying can be seen below in Figure 1B.

As seen above in Figure 1B, the highest number of borrowers increased by millions is under 30 years of age, but the 30-50 range is still above 2 million applying. This shows the point that even in that age range people are going to the government for help to pay back their debt from going to college.

Along with the number of people that apply for student loans, the amount of money that they are left with to pay back is even worse. Taking out the loans helps with getting through the years of college each person needs, but after they complete their goal and go out to apply for their degree in the real world the amount of money they can make from a job they earn with that degree can’t seem to reach the amount of money they will have in debt to pay back. This is a rocky road that comes after college. The debt money that graduates owe after completing college can be seen in the graph Figure 2A below.

In this pie chart, you can clearly see the amounts of money that student loan debts separate into and the percentages are how many of those students are in each section of the money by color. As seen in this pie chart the highest percentage is 29.55% saying none have student loan debt, but the second to that is 14.32% that owe $20,000-$30,000 in debt.

The major issue that college debt causes for students is not only that it’s difficult and takes a long time to pay back, but it sets their lives back in terms of their financial status and their wellbeing. The most common of the struggles is that paying back their student loan debt holds people back from starting a family, paying for rent, food, automobiles, and extra events like concerts, sports etc. When college debt puts a block on people’s lives and basic needs to live, it’s forcing them to have multiple jobs, move back in with parents, and overall struggle with paying a large amount of money.

Not only does trying to pay for college and taking out loans impact the students themselves but also their families, especially for students coming right out of high school and furthering their education by attending a four-year university right away. The whole family can be dragged into a mess of money when trying to afford college. In the article “Student loans affect the whole family – not just students” by Catherine Curan discusses how families get pulled in. The rising tuition and decreased state funding leave students to turn to their families, “when three generations of a family collaborate to tackle college costs and fail, the results can be catastrophic. Credit profiles are destroyed, homes and retirements are put at risk, and families land in bankruptcy court,” (Curan). Even though turning to your family to help seems like the best option, it can backfire and put financial stress on everyone. Along with the family being impacted takes a toll even more, with then mom or dad not being able to pay for their own bills or if life itself takes a turn and a family member gets sick. The rising costs to get an education impact, everyone, when a child goes to college.

With that, we can see that the rising costs are continuing to hurt the students and families to get an upper education. A reason this issue can be seen as not that big of a deal is that for the people that could afford it, got a lot of help, or don’t think it’s hurting the economy are the people that think students over exaggerate how bad it really is trying to pay for their schooling. From the article “Student Loan Debt Is Not Hurting the Economy” by Jeffrey Dorfman

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Why Is College Tuition Rising So Fast?. (2020, Oct 15). Retrieved from

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