PFP: One Thing That Should Change in Higher Ed

I know that I have some concrete answers to this question, but I’ve been wondering what to talk about in this post for a while. The topic that glows in my mind is then topic of cost for education. I think the cost of education for students in the United States should change. I think the playing field should be level for as many people as possible, and right now, this is far from the case— for many students of any financial or racial background. I believe that if students have obviously put in effort to the high school education, they should be rewarded with affordable higher education, if they so choose.

Today, students who choose to go to a four-year institution right away accumulate a massive amount of debt. I know people that graduated with $60,000 to $100,o00 in debt from undergraduate charges alone. For students that go to community college and transfer, I know people that habe fallen within the $25,000 to $50,000 in debt  mark. I don’t think this is right. Many students take on their own higher education bills, and this debt puts them at a disadvantage from the start. When students come out of undergrad with debt the size of a luxury car, if not more so, I think this is a problem, especially since students constantly hear from different directions that the undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma. This may or may not be true, but it does not take away from the fact that this belief is being perpetrated among today’s youth and that many students that graduate with a bachelor’s degree have trouble finding a related job.

In addition to the fact that this belief is being repeated over and over, and that students continue to get themselves into debt that it will take a decade, if not more, to get themselves out of, students are also realizing, as we graduate students have heard in class these past couple of weeks, that students around the world pay much, much less for their Bachelor’s degree than do students in the United States. Regardless of why this may be, American students can’t help but wonder “What?! That’s not fair.” Granted, there may be certain reasons that certain countries have a considerable difference in college tuition rates, one being a higher overall tax rate (an idea at which most Americans would balk). But this begs the question, is that truly all there is? Do other countries only have lower tuition rates because of higher taxes for every citizen? I’m not advocating for free higher education. Not by any means. Because as the old saying goes: “There’s no such  thing as a free lunch.” I only argue that higher education  (undergraduate and graduate work) should not keep students in debt for decades or the rest of their working lives. Higher education, especially undergraduate education, while not free, should be decently affordable so that those that seek to obtain this degree can do so without the cost being an issue for several years.

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