Growing College Costs

Posted: October 24, 2008 by jerkmag in Uncategorized
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Jose Martinez

According to the Census Bureau, the average college graduate earns $1 million more than the average high school graduate throughout their working life. Knowing this fact begs the question as to why more people are not attending college? The answer, for the most part, is simply because people cannot afford to pay for the cost of college today. Due to the financial restrictions that many families face, it appears as though it is becoming a privilege to attend college. This should not be the case, and with no halt in college costs coming in the foreseeable future, the government needs to step in and help solve this growing problem.

To answer this need for financial assistance by prospective students, Obama plans on having the government cover two-thirds of the cost of most public colleges and universities. Included in this Higher Education plan is to work towards making community college essentially free for students coming from low to middle class households.

As we grow older and have our own families, we will immediately become concerned with our child having the same college-level educational opportunities as ourselves. With the implementation of Obama’s American Opportunity Tax Credit, the financial burden many families anticipate can become less daunting.  Through this American Opportunity Tax Credit, the government will offer $4,000 towards college in exchange for 100 hours of community service. This program offers the perfect win-win situation for both parties involved by giving the recipient an opportunity to help out throughout their community while making money for college in the process.

With all of my college costs being paid by loans, I know as well as anyone else that having a college education does come at a high price. Instead of complaining about my financial problems, I can only hope that future generations do not undergo the same economic circumstances just to obtain something so necessitous. Everyone should have the opportunity to receive a college education regardless of income, and with Obama, we are taking the appropriate path in finding an answer.

John Cassillo

The figure Jose brings to light about college graduates earning $1 million more than their degree-less counterparts is a valid, and none-too-surprising. In today’s America, the paths to high earnings read as follows: ‘Go to College’ or ‘Get Lucky as an Entrepreneur’. With this in mind, many choose the former, and obviously, based upon the U.S. Census figures, have experienced great success. Still, due to rising tuition costs (our own Syracuse University being a prime example), it’s getting more difficult to access this vital component of success.

The answer to this growing problem, some think, is more government aid. This, however, isn’t the type of solution that helps our country in the long run. Numerous states (i.e.- Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona- to name a few) already offer free tuition for students based on merit alone, and Louisiana only requires that you have a 2.5 GPA in high school to get aid. This state spending is provided for by the federal budget of course, and under an Obama presidency, that figure would only continue to increase. Even if need-based, are you going to tell me that people won’t lie about their income in order to get their child to college for free? Ha. I can name at least five people I know personally who have done so, or are in the process of doing so, and if that’s not enough, I think the case of Hawaii’s state-run health care system collapsing after just seven months can make my case as well. It’s just another recipe for taxpayer fraud in a government-run welfare system.

So what’s McCain going to do? Make it easier to get aid by consolidating our financial aid programs, so students, and parents, can more easily apply. You see- no government handouts, just the government making it easier for you to do what you have to do, at no cost to taxpayers. With that, institutions removing frivolous spending which leads to tuition hikes, and Harvard maybe giving up some of its over $34 billion endowment, perhaps we’re on to something.

  1. Kate says:

    As college is getting more and more necessary in order to thrive in society and therefore more and more people go to college (putting them in major debt) it makes me wonder what people are going to have to do to set themselves apart from the pack to get the jobs that will give them the money they need to pay off their debt and make a living.

    It makes me wonder how McCain and Obama are preparing for the furture when a swarm of overly qualified people are searching for well-paying jobs they deserve, but that aren’t available.

  2. Katie says:

    Education used to be considered “the great equalizer” in America. That’s what made our country great; everybody had a shot at succes because of our public education system.

    But that’s no longer the case. Nowadays, you NEED a college education to have a fighting chance in this job market. If not, you’re fucked. Might as well apply to McDonald’s.

    The US has the 4th worst rich-poor divide among rich countries in the world. Our college education system, or lack thereof, is just adding fuel to the fire. Rich kids are guaranteed higher education and, therefore, can rest easy that a decent-paying desk job awaits them after gradution. But poor kids are shit out of luck.

    America: the land of opportunity? I beg to differ.

  3. poppa G says:

    The election is over but i’m just reading this now article now..

    “So what’s McCain going to do? Make it easier to get aid by consolidating our financial aid programs, so students, and parents, can more easily apply.” – Yeah that’s great and all, but as the sole way of dealing with this issue?! I don’t think so..And obama’s plan isn’t just a handout, it’s trying to get kids involved with their communities and rewarding them for it.

    Honestly, I think both of the policies should be implemented by Obama when he’s president. They’re both good ideas. But neither should be thought of as some end-all solution.

    so let’s see if he delivers..

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