It has gotten to the point that college is becoming a real problem for some people. The number of career options available for people that do not have college degrees is shrinking and continues to shrink to the point that in the near future college will hardly be optional anymore. In order to enjoy career options that provide enough income to support a family, some secondary education is almost necessary.
The problem? It’s also extremely expensive. The price of college is making it very difficult for students of lower income families to purse their educations which is subsequently further contributing to the cyclical poverty that remains a prevailing issue in the United States. Today we will be taking a look at a few of the reasons that college needs to be more affordable, as well as some of the ways that we can work towards that goal.The Problem:The essence of the problem is this: college creates opportunity, but only those that already have opporutunity can currently afford to go to college. In other words, children of well to do families are able to get an education that will help them maintain their lifestyle, while children of not so well to do families have a much harder time with this, and are therefore often enough trapped in a cycle of poverty.
It is, of course only fair to point out that this is not the case for everyone. There are plenty of that aren’t from well to do families that are able to get scholarships or grants to go to the school of their choosing. However, while this does happen it is not necessarily the opportunity that most people can expect to get. All this said, the price of secondary education is a burden for more than just poor families. Students everywhere that encounter the need to take out student loans struggle to pay them off upon graduation. The burden I enhanced by the fact that it takes many job candidates up to a year to find a steady income after college.
While there are repayment relief programs that allow graduates to pay back their loans at a rate that is more suitable to their situation, student debt as a whole is nevertheless still an issue that is consistently creating financial strain for college graduates.Here are some of the stats. First, the number of students graduating with college debt is on the rise. In 2008 1.1 million students graduated with debt, whereas now the number 1.3 million.
While this may not seem like much of a climb when considering the population of the country as a whole it is certainly enough of an increase to be impactful especially if that number continues to rise.Perhaps even more startling is the fact that the average 2016 graduate owes about $37,000. The average monthly payment on these debts is over three hundred dollars—a rate that many graduates simply cannot afford right out of college. Perhaps for that reason, the rate of loan deligency (payments delayed 90 days or more) is 11% on college loans. The cummalative amount of debt for student loans in this country is $1.48 trillion—a number staggeringly higher than even that of the cummalative credit card debt. What does this all mean? It means that for many people college represents a financial blackhole that they just are not able to get themselves out of. We could go on and on looking at how various factors (such as private vs.
public schools) affect the ratio of debt, but bt now you probably get the point. For many people college debt is a burden that is very difficult to overcome. What’s the Solution:If there was an obvious solution to the problem of college debt, one would hope that it would have been accomplished already. That said, there are a few simple ways to make college more affordable that we can take a look at.
For one thing, college for a lot of people takes too long. Most people think of a Bachelor’s degree as taking four years right? Well in theory that’s how it is supposed to be, but that just isn’t how things work out every time. In fact, only about 36% of degree candidates are able to graduate in four year’s time. The reality is that it is not unusual for students to spend five, or even six years trying to get their degrees. These extra semesters are the product of a lot of things, but often enough a large component of the extended time spent in college is the result of students taking classes that they don’t actually need to complete their degree. With a more focused guidance department college students could reduce the amount of time they spend in school, and as a result also minimize their loan debt. Of course, while expediating the process of degree pursuit is great it still doesn’t help open the door of higher education up to be that cannot afford a $20,000 a year price tag in any situation.
In order to create a long term improvement towards making college tuyition more affordable, able citizens must do their part. While not everyone can make donations to grant or shcolarshicp funds, you can always show your dedication to the process of making college more affordable by signing petitions, educating your friends and family members and supporting political candidates that make lowering the price of college a priority. College is supposed to be difficult but paying for it shouldn’t have to be. Do your part to make sure that higher education is a viable option for everybody that wants to pursue it.
Conclusion:While there is nothing wrong with deciding not to pursue a degree the fact of the matter still remains that for those that want one, we as a society need to make sure that opportunity is able to rise to meet that desire. While community colleges are a clear step in the right direction, they are nevertheless not enough. We still need to embrace a political agenda that produces enough grants and scholarships to give all interested parties the opportunities that they deserve. It is in doing this that we will come closer than ever to living in a true meritocracy.