The High Price of Education

How urgent is the student loan problem that seems to be weighing down our economy?

By Emily Hawkins, Editor

College students today are in a bind. On one hand, they have their dream careers that require hard-work, dedication, and in the end, they (hopefully) get their satisfying payoff; on the other hand, they have the thousands and thousands of dollars put into tuition, that later leaves these young adults with the heavy weight of student debt before their vocation even begins. Sure, there is student loans, financial aid, and scholarships, but there is always that fine print that can get students tangled in the web that is education investment.

If education is such an asset to a person’s success, why do we make it so hard to acquire and achieve?

Student loans are orchestrated to help undergrads pay tuition through sums of money that you pay back over time- with interest. As of 2018, the nation’s total student loan debt averaged to about $1.6 trillion. That’s an average of $29,200 per college grad. Students are so oppressed with their debt, according to reports, that they aren’t investing in homes or getting married.

“These kids can’t afford anything… debt is problematic because you’ll be 30 years old going into the work force and you already owe all this money, you can barely obtain a car, let alone a whole lifestyle”, said George Ranch High teacher and University of Houston graduate Akhil Pandya.

But there is hope in student’s money bound futures; with applications to financial aid and government grants such as FAFSA (stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a student can have a bright beginning to their adult life ahead. However, with recent interviews from high school seniors and college graduates, it is revealed that the world of college tuition is much more complex than it seems.

“I had student loans and some scholarships all through college, both undergrad and master’s… [financial aid] is tricky” says Pandya,”there is a lot of terminology and people often can’t determinate the difference between them, leading to problems.”

“I believe that the price of college is way too much… I don’t necessarily believe that it should be free… college needs money to function, but college and universities don’t seem to take tuition to upgrade facilities.”

When asked about the application for financial aid, high school senior Izzy Williams “wanted to f****** drop out of school… FAFSA is more difficult than college itself.”

According to the University of Texas at Austin, a student’s tuition money is put towards funding college and school initiatives, IT infrastructure, and the overall cost of utilities. However, in recent years, it’s been shown that universities prefer to focus on the flair of their campuses rather than the well being go their students’ wallets.

There has to be a solution to this decades old issue, though. United States 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has promised the nation that, if she is elected, she will exterminate student debt for three quarters of all loaners and make all public college free. Some students had solutions of their own though, such as seniors Sara Morrison and Jake Hernandez.

When asked about her opinion on the debate over free college Morrison thinks that “for well known colleges, they should keep their tuitions the same, however the government should offer a less expensive option.”

“While completing my college applications, the sticker price of both private and public universities has been absurd. I believe universities must lower their tuition prices in order to guarantee that college is affordable for every student in lower income and middle income levels” said Hernandez.

If education is such an asset to a person’s success, why do we make it so hard to acquire and achieve? So much time effort goes into that coveted diploma, and that determination should not be thrown away because of our nation’s focus on wealth and materialism.