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Updated October 13, 2020

Cheaper College Education

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Cheaper College Education essay
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Education is the engine of social mobility that gives people a chance to live up to their potential. It is also a socially desirable goal and a sign of a fair society, and college education, however, is expensive for both taxpayers and students. In order to give students more opportunities attending higher education, colleges and university should work to be as cheap as possible.

College education has always been one of an issues that put a lot of student’s families under pressure (Davidson, 2015). To understand the feeling of crisis that is happening in higher education right now, it is necessary to look back with some figures from 40 years ago. In 1974, the median American family earned just under $13,000 a year, so attending a four year private college cost around $2,000 a year which is affordable, with some scrimping to even median earners. As for public university, it was a bargain at $510 a year. To put these figures in current dollars, $10,300 for the private university and $2,500 for the public one. A lot has changed since then. Tuition at a private university is now toughly three times as expensive as it was in 1974, costing an average of $31,000 a year. Public tuition is at $9,000 risen, by nearly four times. This is a quite painful bill for all but the very richest.

For the low American household that does not receive enough financial aid, higher education is basically out of reach. Addressing this crisis is now a political issue. In “ Is College Tuition Really Too High” by Adam Davidson (2015) mentioned that Obama proposed making community college affordable to every American. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley all announced plans to increase federal funding for college if elected. Jeb Bush promotes cutting back of affirmative action in Florida’s public universities as an example of reducing government’s role in education.

The government has never focused on education system than they did before, yet this issue now makes them consult about improving education to be more affordable for most students who want to attend colleges and universities. Have they really figured out any solutions for this issue?

It is easy to see that government is still not adequately improving this issue better regardless of what they have tried, tuition is still increasing day by day. Based on In “ The Future Of Higher Education: Faster, Cheaper, Better” by Steven Schwartz who is a Senior Fellow with The Centre for Independent Studies and Senior Adviser to Nous Group (2013), college and university education is expensive. It is said that the federal government provides more than $5 billion in teaching subsidies to higher education institutes and student loan overheads add a billion more. Tuition is paid by domestic and international students and total higher education spending of both public and private exceeds $22 billion per year still rising. Sadly, even though students are charged such a big amount of tuition but are still unsatisfied of what they are paying for that being said colleges and universities received those big amount without any changes of achieving educational quality such as student’s facilities. Steven say[s] “no matter how much money they receive, universities always seem to need more”. If the government is not impending, they seek higher fees from students. The argument from universities that education of higher education and research cost big amount and need more support. When more money is approaching, however, much of it is absorbed into their ongoing operations, also pushing up costs without providing students or the public with better quality.

Another research performed that the ever-increasing expenditures on universities reflect the massive growth in high school students (Schwartz, 2013). The recently announced reduction in Commonwealth support for universities is said to slow down the rate of increase, however, cost as long as student numbers increase.

Higher education is a captivating and complex business. Education can have enormous personal benefits for people who acquire it, but it also has external benefits to the rest of society. In “ Is college tuition too high” by Adam Davidson (2015), he mentioned that for young adults from educated, middle-class families, the people who will find a way to put themselves through college despite the costs, rising college tuition is a personal challenge. But the great national crisis is the fact that too many other young adults are not going to college or even if they do, they do not graduate since they cannot afford it. An estimated 21 million students attend at least some classes in a post secondary institution. Colleges and universities do not constitute a single, cohesive market like many categories of consumers products.

The next educational marketplace consists of the large regional powerhouses, home to another 20 percent or so of the higher education student population that being said usually public, with names that often begin with “University of” where have strong reputations in their home states and often among the residents in neighboring states. A famous paper was written a few years ago by both professors at Harvard and leading scholars of education economics named Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz in which they pointed out that states that had outstanding private schools in the 1890s are less likely to have developed these strong and upper-tier public schools. The reason is as obvious as it is depressing: The powerful private schools lobbied politicians to keep public institutions underfunded that helps explain why the university systems in North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, California and elsewhere outside the Northeast are held in such high regard.

Public universities have always been cheaper than their outstanding private counterparts yet the gap has been closing slowly as states stop funding the schools as generously as they once did. College education does not need to be so pricey ( Schwartz, 2013). It is possible to deliver high quality of higher education at a lower cost by changing the way universities create and deliver courses especially when higher education must advance from a craft to an industry and embrace some level of standardization. Tuition of college and university should be lowered because it is expensive and if it is, more people could afford college that resulted in decreasing homeless as well as uneducated population.

In the article “ College Costs Must Be Lowered” by Lina Barkawi (2011), she argues that the average graduate the previous year walked away from university with both a diploma and $24,000 in student loans and even say they graduate with debts from student loans that reach six figures. On top of all that, one in five graduates is unemployed. It is the unfortunate reality that students are leaving school with a huge debt and no way to pay it off. If students cannot pay for college, how are they supposed to attend higher education? Students must focus more on school than on trying to figure out how to pay for each semester. They are stressed about their finances, then studying for a test which means they will most likely not graduate on time. What most people do not understand are the consequences that arise from getting student loans ( Barkawi, 2011). Students are responsible for repaying any student loans taken even if they do not graduate school or have trouble finding a job. Once that happens, students are given 270 to 360 days to pay back any federal student loans in monthly installments depending on how frequent and how much is due during each installment. Students will neither be able to receive any more federal financial aid nor renew a professional license they hold.

Furthermore, on top of all it, their credit history will be forever scared since they were not able to pay back their student loans. There are just few of the possible results of getting a student loan. Student loans are supposed to help students gain an education but may have a much more negative impact if things do not go their way.

Nowadays, students who graduate with student loan debts cannot own a house or anything. Students worry how they are going to make it paid on time, so they are sleeping on friend’s couches because they have to pay that instead of finding somewhere to live. Moreover, if tuition continues to increase, students would be more discouraged to go attending higher education in colleges and universities even with grants and various kinds of scholarships, they still will have a lot to pay for.

Personally, there are a few ways that can help to reduce higher education costs: First, colleges and universities can look for innovative ways to lower the cost of instruction ( Schwartz, 2013). Several colleges have already made the start in this area by principally introducing online learning options into their core curriculum. Instead of lectures on a stage armed with PowerPoint slides, online teaching takes place on laptops, tablets and smart phones anywhere students wish to study. As a result, university fees are being undercut by online universities which do not find it necessary to build libraries, laboratories, refectories, sporting fields and art galleries. For example, the American National Centre for Academic Transformation has helped universities reduce more than a third of their costs by using online delivery and standard materials. Online education increases equity by making it easier for students in remote locations, students with disabilities as well as students with family responsibilities to access higher education.

Second, colleges and universities should look for ways to lower the cost of course materials. Even though textbooks amount to only about 2.5 percent of the cost of college. Students are already moving toward options that are a portion of the cost of print. Third, community college offers the most affordable education out there. Going to community to complete the general education classes that every school requires, then students can transfer to a 4 year school where they can take classes more targeted to their specific degree.

Forth, students should buy used or check to see if they can rent textbooks at their school, then sell their books back online to the bookstore or to someone else. Also, students can look online for textbooks. They may find a better deal from an online retailer than from bookstore on campus or may be able to download a less expensive electronic version to your computer or e Reader.

Lastly, students should get a part-time job while being in school. They can work during their summer off and use those money to pay for tuition, books and other expenses. Also, they can look into cooperative education programs which allows them to alternate between working full time and studying full time.

Recently, well-paying jobs require a college degree and gaining a college degree should be a goal of everyone who wishes to enhance their knowledge and make a difference in their own way. The fact of the matter is that college needs to be made more affordable and should not only be available for those who were born into wealthy families. For that last 10 years, College Board has reported that college tuition and fees are increasing on average by 5.6 percent a year. As time passes, gaining knowledge becomes more unattainable which needs to end. It is not fair to the students who are seeking various academic selections while worrying of loans and debt. They should not be in financial problems that are associated with the high tuition for their education since it push them more unnecessary stress.

What students should concern must be their academic performance and learning. Tuition should be lowered in order to give more opportunities for students to attend higher education so that they can get a better job even a higher paying job. They had better focus more on school than on being worried how to pay for school. Students would not have as much student loan debts. Everyone would love to go to college, but it would be out of reach for most students to attend higher education unless they get a scholarship or some miracle happens that their parents win the lottery. That is why it is believed that tuition should be lowered.

References

  1. Barkawi, L. (2011, November 8). College Costs Must Be Lowered. Collegiate Times. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “http://www.collegiatetimes.com/opinion/college-costs-must-be-lowered/article_f9365dd8-fdaf-55ad-805a-0a8675c6d4ca.html”
  2. Davidson, A. (2015, September 8). Is College Tuition Really Too High?. The New York Times. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/magazine/is-college-tuition-too-high.html” Schwartz, S. (Winter 2013).
  3. The Future of Higher Education: Faster, Cheaper, Better 23 (2) Retrieved from HYPERLINK “http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libproxy.siue.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=6&sid=859b6533-0d4f-4668-938c-0ce03fd7587a%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl” \l “AN=89755163&db=a9h”

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