College Cost: Out of Control

From 1995 to 2015, average college tuition fees to an out-of-state public university rose 226 percent, and in-state tuition rose an overwhelming 296 percent. College is place for learning, partying and having intellectual fun as an adult, but with adulthood comes the crippling debt of college tuition.

As America progresses, the price of receiving a college education rises, and many Americans go into debt, as well as  wallow in bitterness about it. As of 2010, Americans owed more than $875 billion on student loans, which is the biggest student loan debt in history; many are barely able to survive with this debt that they were not prepared for.

When asked about the fear of college debt, HHs senior Justin Feliciano said, “It seems like a thing that’s going to  be really unavoidable because no matter how you go about it, school’s probably going to be at least some sort of debt.” Feliciano is fully aware of his future college charges, but he is hoping to minimize his debt with the help of scholarships.

HHS freshman Tyler Turnage hopes to also have the helpful crutch of scholarships to assist him in paying for college. Turnage said, “I’ll probably end up getting pretty good scholarships, so I shouldn’t be too much in debt.” However, many others cannot be so dependant on this type of payment.

Disregarding the eventual debt, the price of college education is single-handedly a road block. As previously stated, college tuition has rose over 200 percent, and this factor prohibits many from attending the college of their dreams, or even from going to college at all. The annual family income of more than 47 percent of undergraduates is less than $40,000, and in many cases, that is the price of one to two years worth of college.

Since college tuition is at its highest, many students experience setback. HHS senior Kristina Feeley said that the price absolutely affects her choice of college. “I am going to county college because it’s cheaper, and I know a majority of people that are undecided will go to county because of the money,” said Feeley.

HHS senior and Valedictorian of the class of 2017, Kelly Maegerlein, also believes that price is a restraint in going to college, stating, “It would [the price] deter them from reaching for a high level college if they could get in, and they probably end up going somewhere cheaper just because they have to.” Unfortunately, the factor of high prices leads to at least 12 percent of high school graduates not going to college.

In addition to debt and rising prices, students have to worry about job availability once they start to look for life-long employment. After college graduation, most students are full of hope, but that hope is crushed because good jobs are few and far between; in fact, the unemployment rate for college graduates under the age of 25 is over 9%.

When asked about job security after college, HHS senior Natalia Laskowska said, “What if I just fail?” Pointing out that the whole college process is daunting, Laskowska added,  “It was hard to find something that I actually wanted to do, so if that doesn’t work out, it’s pretty scary.” Laskowska is not the only one who fears rejection, especially with the fact that only 14 percent of college graduates have “real” jobs waiting for them, meaning that they are employed in their profession of choice.

No matter whether a student is a senior or freshman in high school, college is a daunting topic that no one is truly prepared for. The decision to go to college or not is primarily based on the inflated price of attending an institution, as well as how much debt one can expect to follow; the prospect of finding a job is the cherry on top of a disappointing cake.

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