High price excludes low-income families from attending college, causes excessive student debt


Junior and senior year of high school is the time to really start thinking about college — and with that comes the cost of tuition and living. College costs significantly more than it did when our parents went. Even with scholarships, it can be grossly expensive.

The high price of college is contributing to not only the wage gap but the class system. Those who can’t afford college have a harder time finding jobs paying more than the minimum wage, meaning they can’t move up the class system.

Even if you’re smart, your family not being able to afford college halts the hopes of a quality higher education.

It’s understandable that colleges have employees to pay and a campus to maintain, but the costs of some private universities are upward of $65 thousand per year — and that’s just ridiculous. That’s covering more than the costs of employees and upkeep.

The current student debt in America is $1.2 trillion — 40 million Americans have student loans they have to pay off, and 70 percent of students with bachelor’s degrees graduate from college with debt. Not only is this bad for the economy, but it shows that the majority of families can’t afford to send their children to college.

A middle class family of four earns an average of $70 thousand per year. Even going to in-state schools like KU costs about $17 to $20 thousand per year, which overall costs roughly $70 thousand for a four-year degree. That’s not even including universities like Northwestern or Notre Dame that cost almost as much as a middle class family brings in yearly.

Smart students being denied the opportunity of the college experience because they can’t afford it isn’t right, and it shouldn’t be happening in such an opportunistic country like the United States.

College shouldn’t be so expensive that it excludes anyone who doesn’t have thousands of dollars just laying around to spend. The class system makes it harder and harder for some students to go to college, and without college it’s very likely they will stay in the class they were born into.

Of course, there are the success stories of people who started businesses from nothing and built them into million-dollar companies, but they are few and far between and not feasible for everyone.

The cycle of lower income families not going to college has to stop in order to make the United States a more equal and opportune country.

Colleges are supposed to be there to make a higher education accessible to students, but they are so expensive that middle-class families have to think of ways to pay for college, and those who have less money can’t even go.

Making tuition affordable and making financial aid and scholarships readily available will give more Americans the chance to go to college.