In an effort to make student’s time memorable, exciting and safe the state-owned colleges and private colleges have done it at the expense of the students by making them pay 3 times more in school fees than 20 year ago.
Anyone who wants a good job and good pay in today’s world has to have a college degree and most students wo apply know that they are going to be graduating college with an amass amount of debt that they have to pay but they do all that in hope of getting the job of their dreams, despite that college is where students learn life skills that will help them in the future, they learn how to be socially active, confident, and education. if college is too expensive to afford then most of these students wouldn’t be able to learn any of this and would then have to drop out or look for menial jobs to do which in the long run wouldn’t help them or their country.
For years now colleges have increased the amount for tuition and the money doesn’t go to improving the classroom or the equipment’s for the class. It mostly goes to the administration of the college. Since 1988 the United States higher education system has employed over half a million administrators, which makes the number of faculty staffs look close to nothing compared to the number of administrative positions that have been made in the past years. For students to pay for college they are borrowing money and because of that are taking on debts and with the federal loans accounting for more than 1.5 trillion dollars in students loan debts and a lot of people non-payment of their loans results in taxpayers paying the prize of this fragmented system.
We have to ask ourselves what’s the solution to this problem, politicians first instinct is to throw money at the problem but that will not help because in the long run it makes the problem worst. The best way for us to get rid of this problem of student debt and high tuition is to remove the federal government completely from student loan trade. That will close off the flow of money that allows colleges to inflate the cost of higher education with no endpoint. With the federal government out of the way private lending is the next best thing and because of it colleges now control the costs, making it less expensive and easier for students to afford to go to college for cheap.
Colleges have also found a solution called Income share agreement which allows students to see what kind of future they are investing in before they take on any debt. Their monthly loan payments will be lower if their incomes are low and if their incomes are high they can pay them back quicker. This system is a win for first the student and taxpayers.
The United States is number one in the world when it comes to the cost of college, families spend around $3,385 on services for only one student a school year, that is triple times the normal for any liberal country. Most American students love to live away from home making it even more difficult (financial wise) for their families. In Europe there are smaller dorms and cafeteria’s on campus compared to the United States. An economist David Feldman states that “The Bundle of services that an American university provides and what a French university provides are very different.”
Fancy dorms, dining halls and state of the art gyms aren’t the problem, rather it is the practice of paying administrators and members of faculty, which tallies up to $23,000 for one student in just a year double what countries in Europe spend on essential services. If a system is created to monitor the spending of the money that students pay maybe the cost of college might be reduced and students would be able to afford quality higher education.
State funding for education is another problem, the state government always puts education at the bottom of their budget. If state the state government invests more money, time and hard work to education and the federal government supports them with the necessary resources like money, then that money can be used to lower tuition cost. If this solution is taken into consideration, then the national student debt crisis will be low and more people will be able to pay off their debts and still live a comfortable life.
This partnership between the federal and state government would help reduce the cost of tuition and it would be a win for both state and federal and state government because now the state get more additional federal grants from the federal government and the federal government would be seen as a government who is investing in the future of their country.
Food availability and cost is another problem that college students face, a study by the Wisconsin lab shows that fifty percent of college students don’t have access to affordable food and because of that students find it hard to afford college at all and because of this study the hope center started finding ways to solve this problem, one of the solutions they came up with was adding cash flow in class curriculum. In the end it is about making a one on one conversation to find out what kinds of programs work for the students.
A way to have these one-on-one conversations might be having the school have a summit or conference to discuss about it. Another way might students going to the financial aid office and look for scholarships that might help them, also the college might want to put into consideration lowering the price for meals and they can try doing something like food dives for students who can’t afford to pay for food. In Houston colleges have started trying this solution and have partnered with the Houston food bank to ensure students have food. Even though this doesn’t solve the problem entirely it is a start and this solution helps student’s voices are heard.
Another problem is people are not making college affordability a priority and that is really an issue because if it was a top priority for voters, this issue would’ve been addressed a long time ago because voters would vote in people whose top priority was making college more affordable. Some solutions to this problem is first fixing the federal work-study program, everyone benefits from it because the student gets to work while learning life skills in a workspace, the university doesn’t have to look for professionals to do works that students can already do meaning less people to pay because the student who is on the work-study program has qualified for his or her money, but all that can’t happen if the federal government keeps underfunding the federal work-study program.
Secondly, students could protest on matters like “unaffordable housing on and off campus.” With students protesting that it is too expensive it might drive the college to reduce the cost of things on campus. Thirdly, people should support the movement of open educational resource which goal is to make books and learning materials more affordable or even free and lastly, free transportation for students who live off campus and might be hard for them to drive or walk to school.
We are humans and therefore there will always be a problem with any system we do, so even if these problems are solved there would other problems that arises but that is what life is all about, we learn and we make mistakes, there is a saying that no one becomes successful without failing a few times. College should be a place where students have fun, learn life skills, build lifelong relationships and perfect their crafts pertaining to their careers but because of the cost most students aren’t lucky enough to enjoy these things because they are more worried about how to pay their school fees, if colleges can use these solutions students would be able to enjoy the benefit of college and move on to have a comfortable life free of debt.
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