College admission prices unaffordable

Renee Strong, Staff Writer

  From the moment students’ step foot into high school they are pressured with the over-asked question, “what are you going to do after you graduate?” While there are many different paths to take, college is the most desired choice. However, some aren’t going to be able to attend college due to the extremely high tuition prices. 

For years, college has been viewed as a privilege that academically achieving students can obtain. As time progressed college became the main goal for students as they planned their future; but nowadays the expensive prices cause students to look at other options.

Let’s break down how expensive college has really become. According to in 1970 the average cost for a public 4-year college was roughly $394 per year. Now, in 2023 the average cost per year is around $8,771, that is almost 23 times the amount it would have cost in 1970. 

This problem is rapidly increasing and it is starting to become out of control. If students can’t afford to obtain degrees they cannot become skilled workers. A skilled worker is a worker that companies look to hire because they have knowledge and skills that a typical highschool graduate wouldn’t have. If students can’t afford to continue learning then these workers will be in short supply.

In today’s society, a college degree is required for most well-paying jobs. Although to achieve a college degree they need a well paying job. This puts students in a conundrum that can be very difficult to escape from. Of course students can receive scholarships and financial aid, but to receive these can be just as hard as paying for college.

 Most scholarships are given out for above average academic and athletic students. This means really above average students, such as straight A students and record-breaking sport stars, which again leaves everyone else having to take out a loan for college and collecting  minimum financial aid.

When students hear about the difficult process of college, from the application process, to the paying off the loans for years after they graduate, they begin to look away from college. There are a few things that students can do to lessen the cost. Initially, they can go to community college for the first two years and then transfer to a public/private college. This would allow students to finish their general education classes and they can take special classes at their desired college when they transfer. They can also prep during high school. Maintaining good grades is the first step. This would open up academic scholarships but if grades aren’t their strong suit getting a job can be a huge help. Saving up money now can help in the long run; however, still might not be enough.

If this problem is not fixed then young adults will not be able to achieve as much as they potentially could. Unless colleges work on reducing costs or the government looks for financial aid solutions, the situation will not change and students will not be able to attend college.