As I sit here and help my boyfriend sign up for classes at our community college, I can't help but think of how unfair it is that he won't be able to return to his dream school in the fall. He didn't get kicked out; he didn't do anything wrong; he simply just couldn't afford it anymore. And he is not alone. I know far too many people who have had to leave college, or not even be able to attend in the first place, because of the outrageous cost of tuition. Students pay thousands upon thousands of dollars a year only to receive a piece of paper with their name on it and a handshake to say good luck with finding a job in the future.
Many schools such as Utica College have already taken action by lowering their tuition by 41 percent in order to become a more affordable school. On the other hand, various SUNY schools have been increasing their tuition each year. With an average cost of $20,000 a year, in order to receive a bachelor's degree, you'll be spending well over $80,000. And if you need a master's or even a doctoral degree, you will most likely be paying off student loans for the rest of your life. And that doesn't even cover the cost of books, which, on average, are another $1,500 a semester.
Granted, many students (including myself) receive financial aid, but that doesn't always cover everything. Students are taking out thousands of dollars that they don't have in loans, only to have to pay them off for the rest of their lives. According to an article titled "Why Is College So Expensive?" "every year brings a new crop of fresh graduates who will have to work even longer than last year’s class to pay off their student loan debts. This year, over 70 percent of graduates receiving bachelor’s degrees owed student loan debt, and the average debt among these alums was about $35,000."
To the people who claim they paid for college all on their own and everyone else should be able to do the same, congratulations — that truly is a thing to be proud of. But not everyone is in the same situation as you and are able to do that. People have other expenses to worry about besides college. In today's society, we are expected to have a job once we turn 16 in order to pay for our own things. But how are we supposed to pay for anything else when the cost of college tuition is sucking us dry? While in college we are expected to maintain a job in between balancing classes and homework, along with all of the other things that people may be facing in their personal lives. Not everyone can handle having a job on top of all of that — stop calling college students lazy.
Something needs to be done. Every person deserves the chance to have an education, not to be told, "Well maybe college isn't for everyone." But what about the people who are trying to become doctors or teachers or anything that you legally need a degree in, in order to get a job in that field? We are taking away people's opportunities to change the world, to find a cure for cancer, all because of the price of college tuition is unrealistically affordable. I'm not saying that college should be free, but I do believe that tuition should be lowered to a reasonable price — that way, anyone who wants to go to college will be able to receive the education that they deserve.