Haley’s House: Make college affordable again


Between 2010 to 2014, the number of students enrolled at a college or university dropped by roughly 812,000 students, according to CNN.  After a survey from Business Insider, this significant drop can be attributed to the 63 percent of surveyed college students who reported one of the biggest issues involving enrollment and college campuses is the increasing cost of an education. 

A student’s education should not have to suffer because they simply cannot afford to go.  Every student should have the opportunity to pursue their dream, whether that dream is to become a doctor, an engineer or in my case, a journalist.  A low-income student should never have to sacrifice a quality education because universities are asking for outrageous amounts of money to attend their school. 

“Too many students and families feel that college is out of reach,” said Ted Mitchell, the U.S. Under Secretary for Education, in a CNN interview.  “Never in our history has the opportunity to complete college mattered so much to American’s life outcomes.” 

With a college degree, the likelihood of receiving a well-paying job with benefits increases significantly.  Without it, many students find themselves in low-end paying jobs with little to no benefits.  Additionally, college graduates earn almost double the salary of those workers who only have a high school diploma. 

Illustration by: Sarah Blankenship
Illustration by: Sarah Blankenship

The benefits of a college education outweigh the benefits of not having one.  These benefits include a higher earning potential, employment benefits, better career opportunities, social and personal development and a greater mental and physical quality of life.    

But, with increasing college tuition, some students find that a college education and what it has to offer is unattainable.  While there are options for loans, many are believing college is not worth graduating with piles of student debt.  Student Loan Hero states on average, a 2016 college graduate left school with over $37,000 in student loan debt.    

A college education needs to be more attainable to all college students.

According to CNN’s “Americans are moving to Europe for free college degrees,” there are 44 universities across the European continent that provide a free education to international students such as Americans. 

Countries like Germany, Iceland and Finland are working to combat increasing college tuition by providing free education toward a bachelor’s degree to resident and international students at public schools.  Many private universities are offering free tuition as well. 

Recently, New York became the first state to take the first step to making college more affordable for all students.  Legislators reached a plan to make college tuition free for low-income and middle class students at New York’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities.      

The United States needs to take strides to making a college education more affordable for all college students from all walks of life.  A bachelor’s degree is a student’s best bet to reaching middle class, breaking the cycle of poverty and reaping the benefits of a quality college education. 

While perhaps free education like in many countries in Europe is not entirely attainable in the United States in this political economy, an education should be easier to acquire for all students; no matter what socio-economic background you may come from.   

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