The Costs of Our Future: College Affordability and its

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By Will Barbera ‘20

As everyone comes closer to graduating high school, the expectation is to continue into an undergraduate education in college. Many seek to receive a graduate or masters degree, on top of that. The competitiveness of getting into universities these days, as well as receiving scholarships, though, is vastly more difficult than when our parents were in school.

My mom once told me that from the time she was a freshman to a senior in college at the University of Arizona, back in the 80s, her price of tuition had raised over 400% per semester. When she was a senior, her tuition cost was $650 per semester.

Average student loan debt across the country, as of today, is upwards of 1.53 trillion USD, and still increasing.

One in four Americans are stuck in this downward spiral of student loans, equalling an estimate of 44.7 million people.

Doctors, lawyers, businessmen: all jobs of which are expected to have the highest paying incomes, are responsible for a lot of this student debt. Many young students aspire to pursue one of these careers, but do not understand the severity of the costs of schooling for these jobs. Students expect to come out of medical school making upwards of $100,000, but take years to pay off their student loans.

Nowadays, the costs of higher education have skyrocketed. The average cost of attending a public 4-year out-of-state undergraduate university is $40,940, while private universities range upwards of $10,000 more than that.

If you wanted to attend medical school, add another $50-60,000 a year for four more years of schooling. Beyond that, residency is required, meaning another 3-7 years of working extremely hard, still not making the wages of an experienced doctor.

Unfortunately, incomes for jobs coming out of college are not increasing at the rate of which college pricing is. So many students find themselves struggling to compensate for the money that they had to help pay throughout their college lives.

Making college affordable is a challenge that our entire country is facing and we must address it quick before we lose any more ground.