College Affordability Means Happy Agility



Student Loan Debt High Quality

Hana Varsano, Staff Writer

College is not cheap. In fact, it may be too expensive, leaving many students to rely on scholarships and financial aid.

Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics reveals that from 2017-2018, 84% of students received financial aid at four year public colleges and 90% received financial aid at non profit private schools. This shows that most families are not able to pay alone for college, which is getting more and more expensive. 

According to the US Department of Education, “over the past three decades, tuition at public four-year colleges has more than doubled, even after adjusting for inflation”. Yet not only has the tuition gone up, but those left in college debt have to pay off massive amounts of money, even for their bachelors degree.

“Between 1992 and 2012, ” the USDE reports, “the average amount owed by a typical student loan borrower who graduated with a bachelor’s degree more than doubled to a total of nearly $27,000”. This makes college even more expensive for those wanting to major in a field that requires or encourages a master’s degree or doctorate degree. 

Public college is expensive, and private college even more so. According to the NCES, from 2017-2018, a four year public college cost $27,357 a year on average, with four year private colleges costing $43,139. The US Census explains, however, that from 2017 to 2018, the median salary for a household was $61,937, which means that if the average household didn’t save any money for college and used only their yearly income to pay for college, they would only be be retaining $34,580 for the family in the case of paying for public college and $18,798 in the case of paying for private college. This interferes with the family’s ability to pay for their other needs.

If even middle class families cannot fully afford college, this means that we must change our system to satisfy families by giving them more affordable college opportunities. This way, once the student graduates and gets a career in the field they enjoy, they won’t have to stress about expensive college debt or how their family will pay off massive amounts of money. Lowering the cost of college will give students and their families the opportunity to to live a happier and more affordable life, so we must think about the choices we make on whether to keep college expensive or at an affordable price.