U.S. Higher Education Is At Risk
Politics and Activism

U.S. Higher Education Is At Risk

Whether your parents financially support your access to education or not, eventually we’re going to be the ones to pay the cost.

U.S. Higher Education Is At Risk
Via Pxhere

What is the Republican Tax Plan? What is Net Neutrality?

Republican Tax Plan: it essentially comprises drastic tax cuts and loopholes; 1.5 trillion tax cut plan and tax breaks for the wealthy. This will be the largest change to U.S. tax code and most opposed bill in over the last 30 years; 53% of Americans are against the bill. It’s clear that this tax bill is in favor of the top 1%, for 47% of the cuts go toward the rich. It’s safe to say most Americans are disappointed, but not surprised by this considering we are living under the Trump Administration. Those not in the 1% seem to be getting handed the raw end of the deal, especially those seeking higher education. Access to affordable education will become more costly due to the elimination of various tuition aids like Student Loan Interest Deduction and Tuition Waivers.

Net Neutrality: the basic principle that ISPs (Internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T) maintain equality amongst all content on the internet. Service Providers must allow all consumers to load hosted content with equal speed, cost, and access. FCC will be voting on Thursday whether or not to take away net neutrality. This is a big move considering the policy for equal regulation has been the foundation for how we consume electronic communication since The Communications Act of 1934. Without net neutrality, the internet will be “governed by lawyers and bureaucrats”, according to Ajit Pai, chair of Federal Communications Chair. There will be nothing stopping wealthy telecom companies like Verizon from slowing down the traffic of smaller telecom companies and organizations. For where students are concerned, these companies and organizations that will be affected by bigger ISPs collaborate with our institutions. How we access our education online will come at a high cost- a cost that most colleges can’t afford.

The Impacts on Higher Education...

Student Loans

The House Bill is getting rid of the Student Loan Interest Deduction. The Student Loan Deduction allows those earning an income between $65,000 to $80,000 (or couples earning up to $130,000) to have a tax deduction of up to $2,500 off their student loans. About 12 million Americans will be affected by The House Bill’s decision. Currently, the total outstanding student loan debt is over 1.4 trillion dollars (making up 7% of the 20 trillion dollars U.S. national debt). It takes the average bachelor’s degree holder 20+ years to pay off their loans, but expectedly longer with the Student Loan Interest Deduction eliminated.

Knowledge Comes At A Price

Student’s, teacher’s, and researcher’s access to the internet will become compromised with ISPs freedom to slow down bandwidths and traffic of other companies if FCC abandons net neutrality. ISPs will be able to charge consumers access to their fast and efficient networks vs. using slower internet access for free; work requiring access to knowledge and research will come at a price. Students and educators across the country use services like Amazon, Microsoft 365, and Google Apps at their colleges, which will most likely rise in price. To compensate for the money spent on these services, colleges and universities will have to raise tuition costs. The rise in tuition will hit families especially hard due to Trump eliminating the Student Loan Interest Deduction and tuition waivers.

Graduate Students

Tuition waivers will go from the opportunity to work at Universities in exchange for free tuition to being another income taxation. This will affect the 145,000 graduate students, 60% of which are STEM major, who rely on tuition waivers. This income taxation will result in either drastic decrease in enrolled Ph.D. and graduate students or increase in student loan debt. Graduate schools give students opportunities for career advancement, higher salary, and more career options. Tuition waivers are a big part of getting to experience these benefits because without it many cannot afford graduate school.

Quality of Education

Research, online exams, and video-streaming will become increasingly difficult and diminish the quality of education students receive with net neutrality gone.“Our research depends on having access to high-speed connection, and it will definitely impact us and all the partners that we’re working with that require high-speed access”, Zahadat said. ISPs will likely create internet packages much like TV packages, charging users for a bundle of internet services monthly, but those unable to afford these packages that include Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic Search will be left with limited resources.

* * *

Higher education isn’t something that should come with consequences like debt traps or the sacrifice of efficient research. Higher education is what makes it possible for the younger generation to get the jobs they need to help save our economy. It’s important that we acknowledge what’s being taken from us because as the younger generation, these are things that will continue to affect us decades from now. The things that we let slip from under your nose, will ultimately shape the world we’re going to grow into. Whether your parents financially support your access to education or not, eventually we’re going to be the ones to pay the cost.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments