MONIQUE T. VITCHE
After high school, many students go on to get a higher education. Going to college, however, is becoming increasingly expensive to complete as the years go on.
For the average college student – and, in most cases, their parents – the rising cost of a college education can be a cause for concern.
Tuition is just one portion of the cost of obtaining a degree. Students who live on campus have to factor in housing and meals, while commuter students have to factor in the cost of gas and any possible car repairs in order to get to school. In addition,
there is the cost of textbooks to consider, although there are websites that allow students to purchase used books at cheaper prices, which helps to slightly decrease the overall cost of attending a university.
Still, tuition has been one of the factors that has been rising at a rapid rate.
According to Bloomberg, “Tuition expenses have increased 538 percent” since 1985.
In addition, Rolling Stone reported that “in 2011, students graduated with an average of $26,500 in student loans.” Many of this is a result of decreased government funding.
So the question is, what exactly can be done to curb the rising cost?
Students at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham campus weighed in on the subject, as the campus’ current estimates for cost of attendance per year total $51,736 for resident students and $38,668 for commuter students. These numbers do not include books, transportation and other expenses.
“I think that the best way to make college more affordable would be to eliminate the federal student loan program because when person A subsidizes person B, it actually costs everybody more because you have more people in a pool, plus overhead costs,” said junior political science major Jordan Chester. He is a self-described conservative and thinks the federal government should leave matters, such as student loans, to the states.
“College loans at the federal level have made more education more expensive, which has hurt poorer students most.”
Chris Trautman, a junior education and literature major, has his own ideas on how to help make college somewhat more affordable. He suggests cutting down “unnecessary spending within academic departments and collegiate offices” as a way to make the cost of attending universities less expensive for students.
Rolling Stone said that students and lawmakers both need to take action to make sure college is still affordable and attainable.
President Barack Obama, who has publicly said that he didn’t finish paying off his student loans until he was in his forties, proposed a plan over the summer to curb college costs. His plan involves college “scorecards,” including the average amount of student loan debt carried by graduates, among other factors. These “scorecards” would form ratings, which would tie federal aid to institutional quality, according to The Washington Post.
As college costs rise, the debt crisis is garnering attention among the people with a stake in the matter, and may finally be acknowledged by those with a chance to make a difference.