Dreadful despair, racing regrets, overwhelming sadness, what did he do to deserve this? James never thought that money would have such a large influence on his life, besides his family was pretty well off, living in a two-story house with three cars. However, little did he know that the green, crisp, wrinkled object of money would prevent him from one of the most important things in his life. My friend James was smart, diligent, hard-working, and always reached for the stars.
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His sole goal was to attend his dream college, the prestigious Stanford University, and it was all he ever worked for. Many would say that this dream was impossible, unattainable, far out of his reach, but he proved them all wrong with his acceptance letter, only to be in tears when his parents broke the news that Stanford, was simply too expensive. He was so close, yet so far away. Believe it or not, unimaginable amounts of high schoolers around the nation also have this crushing experience, their hopes of going to their dream college floating away like downy clouds. The reason that the dream keeps slipping out of their fingertips? Simply because they can’t afford it. Not being able to afford college is absolutely unjust.
The sheer cost of college tuition should not bar someone from achieving a higher education. Sadly, this is a reality in our nation today. College is now a near necessity in order to achieve a high-paying job. According to Us News, “ Among millennials ages 25 to 32, median annual earnings for full-time working college-degree holders are $17, 500 greater than for those with high school diplomas only. ” This gap is only widening, pressuring countless people to pursue a degree. However, there is still an immense problem, the price of a college education.
According to Collegeboard, a “ moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2015–2016 academic year averaged $24, 061. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $47, 831. Considering the average household income is only around $50, 000, most parents simply can’t afford to pay for their child’s dream college, or even any college. If a family has multiple children, paying for expensive colleges is completely out of the question. Remember those times when everything goes wrong and your dreams are crushed, think of that but on a lifetime scale, everything goes wrong because of something out of your control. These insane fees need to be lowered.
With an older brother only a couple years from graduation, and a younger brother soon to follow me, I too, will face this injustice. My eldest sibling excelled in academics, achieving high scores on standardized tests. And so, he is considering the most prestigious colleges, which tend to cost more. My parents will likely fund his college ventures, but who is to guarantee my brother and I will be sufficiently funded as well? With my parents aging into their forties, they too must think about saving for their future as retirement age looms closer. With prices ever increasing, without scholarships it is not plausible that we will be able to attend the schools of our choosing even if we possess impressive high school transcripts.
When students work hard and achieve the right scores, they should be allowed to attend their dream schools. Several decades ago, minimal education was enough to land a sustainable and providing job. Now that a higher education is essential, why the need for staggering prices? Realizing this, Germany has already abolished the need to pay for college two years ago. Even Germany’s own Hamburg’s senator for science, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, stated that tuition fees are unjust. What happened to America being the best country? Germany has just made a magnificent choice, and America should see this and surely follow suit, it is quintessential that we do.
Even though there are financial aid and scholarship opportunities, funds are limited and usually go to the top percentage of students. There are a few colleges with impressive financial aid programs, but those are like a needle in a haystack. There simply isn’t enough. Furthermore some families who don’t qualify for financial aid, still can’t afford college tuition as they might have other things they have to pay for such as health care, bills, and a house. Moreover, often, financial aid still doesn’t cover everything such as books, resident, transportation, and food which can all prove very pricey. Some people suggest that you can help pay for college by working or applying for a student loan.
However, not only is the minimum wage that the majority of high schoolers earn shockingly low, but working also cuts into precious time that you should spend on the most important aspect, school. While college fees have risen over the years, a staggering 500% since 1985 according to Bloomberg, minimum wage has stayed nearly the same. According to CNN, with regard to inflation, the minimum wage was actually higher in 1985 than it is today. Furthermore, student loans are great, but this heavy debt will follow you for a large portion of your life and will hinder you from making other important purchases you may desire. I myself know a lot of grownups who still have to pay student loans. Far too often, the student loan actually surpasses the amount you make which in turn makes you even more broke than before.
According to Huffington post, student loans amounted to one trillion dollars. One trillion dollars, you do not want to be part of that. The options that colleges offer to lower the tuition simply aren’t enough; the only way to fix this is to lower college fees or wipe them out altogether. By now, you may be wondering, how could I help change the cost of college? Well it’s simple, but we must take action now, to prevent more crushed dreams solely because of money. Trust me, you do not want to experience your life-long dream being crushed. It is like getting the wind knocked out of you, a million times.
The cost of college should not prevent someone from going. Financial aid and scholarships truly aren’t enough. Talk to anyone you can and spread the word. If it has worked in the past, and if we try, we can make it work in the future. We need your voice, every voice matters.
Even if changes aren’t instant, as the years pass, the government will do something about the outrageous cost of college as more people start to take notice of this injustice. If Germany can abolish the need to pay for higher education, why can’t we? Thus I strongly urge you to spread the word and sign petitions, with enough opposition, our government will take action, I guarantee you. Our country heeds to the needs of our people. Once the government lowers the cost of tuition for public universities, private universities will surely follow. We have the tax income to make it happen and we can restructure the education budget.
So speak up and do what you can so that everyone can have a chance attend their dream college. Do it so that everyone has a chance at their dream college. Do it so that people like James can accomplish their dream. Most importantly, do it for yourself, your family, your friends, your world.