Rising Tuition Raises Concern for Families


The rising cost of college in the United States is posing a problem for families hoping to send their children off to the next level of education. The high cost of a degree leads a lot of Americans into debt just to be able to get a job that barely pays the bills. These costs infringe upon the personal finance of students after college and should be dealt with more seriously.

Between 2010 and 2016, tuition and fees alone for the average four year college/university have risen 13% (not adjusted for inflation). At Woodgrove High School, 95% of students continue onto another level of education. Popular colleges such as James Madison University, Virginia Tech, Liberty, and William and Mary are a part of today’s tuition explosion (view chart) and need to be more lenient on student costs.

“As of now, I have not earned any money from scholarships, so I will be paying full tuition for William and Mary,” said Justin Floyd, a senior who gained acceptance in December 2015.

Out-of-state colleges are even more expensive. West Virginia University’s full out-of-state fee, $30,732, is nearly $14,000 more than their in state fee. Out-of-state Penn State students are expected to pay a hefty $48,000 if they do not include scholarships, as compared to the in-state fee of $35,000, which is not much better.

However, money isn’t the only determinant of choosing the perfect college. Some students consider the location, athletics, food quality, and believe it or not, the education offered.

“I’m looking to attend Taylor for a few reasons: Indiana is beautiful, the community is great, and there are so many opportunities to study abroad,” said senior David Fletcher.

Yet not everyone goes to college. Tuition costs does not pertain to those willing to defend their country may enlist in the armed forces; Undetermined aspirers may simply join the workforce and wait a couple of years to decide which direction in life they wish to take; young philanthropists may take over a family run business or help on the farm. No matter the choice, students have a spectrum of pathways to choose from.

Another viewpoint on this increasingly prevalent issue comes from presidential candidates. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders further their position on this tuition “crisis” by stating that the tuition rise is contributing to the prevalence of high student loans. Plans on aiding individuals who are deep in debt from student loans differ from candidate to candidate, but the main arguments come from Trump and Sanders in particular. Trump argues that the tuition really isn’t the problem, it’s just a shortage of job opportunities that’s the problem. He also plans to aid people in debt by introducing student loan forgiveness programs. On the other hand, Sanders plans to deal with the issue by eliminating tuition entirely, leaving the cost to the federal government and the states. Taking one specific position on this issue can be hard to do, but we can’t argue that each candidate brings up rising tuition rates in some shape or form.

This is still a pressing issue in America today, and even goes so far as to affect Woodgrove’s own students in some shape or form.