Tuition Fees and Student Mental Health

The following post refers to the article, “Tuition fees ‘have led to surge in students seeking counselling'”, which can be found at the following link: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/13/tuition-fees-have-led-to-surge-in-students-seeking-counselling

If there is one thing that a majority of university students will agree on, it would be related to the astronomically high tuition fees, especially for out-of-state students.  According to the article related to this post, “.. tuition fee and student loan debt are major contributors to the rise in students seeking mental health help”.  Compounding this issue more (an issue which I personally worry about) is the risk of not having a job after graduation.

Due to outrageous tuition, it is suggested that society’s view of education has shifted from being societal benefit to a question of its cost relative to its worth, in addition to the competitiveness of the academic environment which leads to “isolation, stress and anxiety”.  For me, this article hits really close to home.  Being raised in an average, middle-class family, university tuition fees were unaffordable, thus I depended a great deal on scholarships and student loans.  Over the years, the debt related to my student loans continuously grew, resulting in further interest, and concern that it would be nearly a decade until I’m able to pay it all back.  But, what if I’m not able to find a job right away, and I have no way of paying back the debt.  The stress of these payments, compounded by other environmental stressors can be overwhelming to consider.  It’s not surprising that a survey from last year indicated that nearly “8/10 students said they experienced mental health issues” related to the financial burdens of higher education.

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2 thoughts on “Tuition Fees and Student Mental Health”

  1. I completely agree Ross. I have the same concerns. If I can’t find a job after graduation, how will I pay back these loans? Or what if I have to take a lower paying job until I can find a better job? I actually graduated from undergrad in 2009, around the time of the financial collapse and the “Great Recession” as it was called. Let me just say – it was brutal looking for a job. My first two jobs were low paying – and I lived at home with my parents because I had no other option. It did get better after that, but I came to the realization that I needed (and wanted) my graduate education to further advance my career. Hopefully when I graduate again this time, the same thing does not happen. I have the same anxieties as you do!

  2. This somewhat reminds me of the brief discussions we have had in class about education degree mills, particularly common in Japan and some other Asian countries. I think the U.S. has a very similar problem. It is hard to find jobs and there are increasing numbers of students seeking higher and higher degrees. It used to be rare to obtain a Ph.D., but now there is a huge number of students obtaining this. It makes me worry, too, especially about seeking a job in higher education. Not only because that is the job I will be now qualified for, and want. But, also because if I do get a job in a university, I’ll be then contributing to the same problem without working towards a better solution. I am often stuck between wanting success and wanting to make changes at a larger societal level. These two are often at odds.

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