As college enrollment increases, so does tuition

Rachel Quigley, Reporter

College is treated as a necessity, but priced as a luxury.

While college tuition rises every year, it hasn’t been until recently that the prices have dramatically increased. In the article, “Why college costs are so high and rising,” by CNBC News, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that tuition started rising faster than the cost of other goods and services. According to a study done by the College Board, the cost of obtaining a college degree has more than doubled, with inflation adjustment, since 1986.

Since college degrees are required for many careers, nowadays students have no choice but to pay ridiculous amounts of money for tuition. While commuting to community college for a couple years is always an option, students that want to experience the “full four year experience” are often left in crippling debt.

The cost of attending college could dissuade students from trying hard in high school. If they know that their family will not be able to afford it, even with loans, they could get discouraged from learning.

In Michigan, the two most prestigious universities are extremely stingy with in-state scholarships. It’s very rare to get a solid amount of money from Michigan State and the University of Michigan if you’re a Michigan resident, unless you’re on an athletic scholarship. (While the level of education these institutions are providing is stellar, $23,898 and $28,956, for MSU and UM respectively, is unnecessary.)

Whoever wins this upcoming election needs to come up with a plan to lessen debt for students. Graduating with a degree is excellent, but what if jobs are hard to come by in that field? A student could be left searching for a career, but still required to pay loans back.

The most logical solution is to increase the government funding for education. That way, public universities could reduce their tuition, thus decreasing loans. However, with the budget and spending cuts in our current government this is close to impossible right now.

While there are many larger issues presented on the candidates’ platforms this November, if enough students speak up about the unfair tuition, it should be addressed.

In Chile, students are boycotting the education system, which is closely modeled after the United States system, because of the rising prices. In Sept. 2011, over 180,000 students went to the Capital and protested for education reform. If America does not become more cautious the student debt situation, that could be us in a few years.