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Rising college tuition rates call for reform

Clara Sloan, Opinion Editor

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In two years, I will be attending a college. In six years, I will be in debt.

According to statistics reported by The College Board, the cost of tuition in 2033 is predicted to be an average $94,800 for public in-state college for four years. For private colleges, it is predicted to be $323,900 tuition. And that’s just the tuition, not including fees like books, housing and food costs.

As high school students begin to think about college, and even start applying, many of them and their families have more on their minds than the increased course load: the problem of paying is a national one. The questions of free college and student-loan restructuring are debated at the highest levels of politics and around kitchen tables.

Which is nothing new. According to TIME magazine’s archives, fretting about the cost of college has been a national issue in the U.S. for a century.

As John D. Rockefeller Jr., an American financier and philanthropist, explained it in a 1927 interview for TIME, there was once a time when it made sense for society not to expect students to pay much for college, as most of the students were going into the ministry, or into some other “low-paying but society-benefiting career,” so it was the nation’s responsibility to keep costs low by supplementing funds with endowments and gifts.

That had changed by the early 20th century, when more men (and a few women) were going to college, many of them in preparation for their future high-earning careers, or simply because it was becoming more normal. Why, the reasoning went, shouldn’t they pay more?

In the years that followed, as colleges moved further away from the religious mission they had once espoused, many of the country’s best schools raised tuition. Even now, tuitions continue to rise.

Universities across the state of Kansas are facing proposed full-time tuition increases.

The University of Kansas is expecting a 2.5 percent tuition increase, Kansas State University is expecting a 2.9 percent increase, the University of Kansas Medical School is expecting a 5 percent increase, Wichita State is expecting a 2.5 percent increase, Emporia State is expecting a 2.7 percent increase, Pittsburg State University is expecting a 2.8 percent increase and Fort Hays State University is expecting a 2.9 percent increase.

The rising costs of an already exponential college tuition price will create larger debt for young adults, who are then having to find a job in a market that is against them. The cost of college tuition needs to be capped at public, state universities to help with student loans and debt.

Tuition capping is not unheard of. England caps tuition costs for public colleges at 9,250 pounds a year, around $12,000, and in Germany all public college is free.

Until there is a cap on tuition costs, the cost of college will continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation. Education should not cost the next 10 years of your life paying off debt.

 

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The student news site for De Soto High School Journalism.
Rising college tuition rates call for reform