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English Composition 1: 06

9 December 2017

College
Tuition Needs to Be Free

            Graduating from college is an incredible achievement in
life.  Having the degree to display looks
great on resumes when applying for jobs. However, in today’s changing economy,
a college degree has become required—if not, mandatory—to have any sort of job.
A portion of workers does not own a college degree because of being unable to
pay tuition.  Over the years, college
tuition has increased, causing it to be harder for students to attend and
remain in school.  The expensive tuition
has also put many students in devastating financial debt.  Statistics show that the graduate class of
2016 has accumulated $37,172 in student loan debt, six percent higher than
before.  Thus, college tuition should be
free to deter the financial pressure on students and their families.    

            Tuition is the sum of money charged by a school or
university for its services.  According
to College Board, the 2017-2018 academic year budget for an in-state public
college estimated to about $9,970.  For a
private college, the budget averages to $34,740.  Colleges also charge fees along with the tuition.  Fees cover libraries, campus transportation,
student government, and athletics.  Schools
also charge for housing and meal plans, but those costs depend on the campus
and meal plan chosen by the student.  From
2017-2018, the average cost of housing at a four-year public college ranged
from $10,440 and private schools at $12,210. 

Some
colleges would also charge for books and school supplies.  Public colleges would average about $1,250
and private colleges would average $1,220. 
However, attending an in-state college is much cheaper than attending an
out-of-state college.  The average cost
of in-state tuition at a public college is $6,752 and out-of-state costs
$15,742.  What does this mean?  The thought of paying for college tuition is
very discouraging to incoming college freshmen. 
High school seniors often worry and stress about the high costs of
tuition. 

Because
of these high costs of college, students would have a hard time paying their
tuition, causing them to fall into a financial crisis.  About four out of five bankruptcy attorneys
stated that clients with student loan debt have increased in the last four
years.  According to Student Loan Hero, Americans
owe over $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, $620 billion dollars higher than
the total U.S. credit card debt.  This
high debt cause students to delay or even cancel other personal purchases, such
as buying a car, an apartment, and even paying for school. 

Not
only is this debt affecting the students, but it is also affecting their
families as well.  Parents of college
students have an average of $34,000 in student loans, and that number increases
to a gigantic $50,000 over a regular 10-year loan repayment period.  College loans to parents have skyrocketed to
75% since the 2005-2006 academic year.  For
instance, a disabled Vietnam veteran named Dave Ingham stated he has “been
personally and gravely affected by the student loan bankruptcy crisis.” Ingham
co-signed for his 35-year-old son’s student loans.  His son has been out of work since October of
2009, and has been put on default because of his failure to repay his
loans.  “He is on medication for
depression and anxiety.  He keeps looking
for work, but when an employer does a credit check they see the default, so he
doesn’t get the job.  It’s a vicious
cycle” stated Ingham.  To make matters
worse, Ingham and his family are also being sued by a collection agency
representing Sallie Mae.  Why does this
matter? Because of the near unpayable student loans, students and their
families are not able to pay off their loans. 
Banks are relentless about their money, regardless of whether or not the
client is able to pay it off. 

Another
reason colleges should be free is because most occupations require it.  35% of job openings require a bachelor’s
degree, and 30% will require an associates. 
According to “Recovery 2020,” 65% of jobs in the economy will require
education beyond high school. Why? Because modern day jobs are evolving. Jobs
nowadays require more skilled workers, meaning high school degrees will not be
enough.  Some jobs that use to require a
bachelor’s will now require a master’s degree. 
For instance, Waller High School graduate Vynny Brown has been working
at a chain restaurant in Houston for about a year.  Brown earns $7.25 an hour filling takeout
orders and $2.13 an hour with tips as a server. 
His salary barely adds up to more than the minimum.  Brown would like to apply as manager, but
that promotion requires a college degree. 
“That is something I don’t have” stated Brown, “it’s the biggest struggle
I’ve had.”  According to the Economic
Policy Institute, only 10% of 17- to 24-year olds have a college degree.  Why is this important? Because if more jobs
continue to demand college degrees along with rising tuition, more high school
students will be unemployed because of such factors.

However,
there has to be money to sustain the college institutes.  As a result, free college would create higher
taxes for the U.S. citizens.  Along with
free tuition, college will not seem as important.  Free tuition could devalue the worth of a
college degree.  Students would not be as
motivated to go to class because they are simply not paying for it.  Without the financial drive, students are
prone to be lazier and label their class as unimportant.  With the loss of financial drive in addition
to college being optional, some students would not even go to college.  Free tuition would also cause a decrease the
nation’s military.  The Armed Forces
provide tuition assistance, helping its students who serve in the military with
their tuition.  However, eliminating
tuition from college would facilitate the chance of people succeeding in
life.  Incoming college freshmen would
not have to worry about the financial burden and could focus more on graduating. 

Overall,
a college degree is extremely valuable in today’s economy.  Although attending college is optional, getting
hired for a job is extremely difficult without a degree on your resume.  Because of the high demand for a degree and
incredibly high debt, the government would eventually have to start making colleges
free for all students.  One solution
could involve student loans being a small percentage in incomes.  So after a college student earns certain
amount, they would not have to make any payments.  Another solution could also be the government
putting more focus and funding on education. 

 

 

Works
Cited

Cohen, Patricia. “It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College
Degrees.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 May 2016,        www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/business/economy/its-a-tough-job-market-for-the-young- without-college-degrees.html.

Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia. “No college degree? That’s a growing hurdle to
getting hired.” Chicagotribune.com, 21 Mar. 2016,

www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-employers-raise-education-requirements-0320-biz-20160318-story.html.

Gongloff, Mark. “You Need A College Degree To Get A Job (And Crushing
Debt To Get A Degree).” The
Huffington Post,
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 Oct. 2013,      www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/22/college-degree-job_n_4142797.html.

In-State
vs. Out-of-State Tuition | HEATH Resource Center | The George Washington
University,             www.heath.gwu.edu/state-vs-out-state-tuition.

Nance-Nash, Sheryl. “The Student Loan Crisis Is Crippling America’s
Families — Is The Economy Next?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Apr. 2012,     www.forbes.com/sites/sherylnancenash/2012/02/07/the-student-loan-crisis-is-crippling-            americas-families-is-the-economy-next/#51fd478140dd.

“Pros and Cons of Tuition-Free College.” College Raptor Blog,                                                                  
www.collegeraptor.com/find-colleges/articles/affordability-college-cost/pros-cons- tuition-free-college/.

Redd, Luke. “Should College Be Free? Here’s
What You Need to Consider.”        Trade-Schools.net, www.trade-schools.net/articles/should-college-be-free.asp.

“U.S. Student Loan Debt Statistics for
2017.” Student Loan Hero, studentloanhero.com/student-loan-          debt-statistics/.

“What’s the Price Tag for a College Education?” COLLEGEdata,             www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064

Wilson, USAA Pam. “5 Strategies to Pay for College Today.” Military.com, Ho
Lin,                 www.military.com/money/personal-finance/banking-and-savings/5-strategies-to-pay-for-   college.html.

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