College is Too Expensive

College is Too Expensive

Lalia Riseng

As a senior who is planning to go to college in the fall, this year has been more than a bit stressful. It has been full of looming deadlines, sensory overload, and countless emails from colleges with panic-inducing subject lines. But perhaps the biggest stressor is the realization of the enormous financial burden that this higher education is going to be. Before this year, I thought I understood the enormity of the cost, but I definitely did not. And it is especially terrifying to realize that I have to take on so much financial responsibility before I even have a career.

College was not always so expensive, which is one of the reasons it is unreasonable that it costs so much today. This is why so many parents of kids today are so taken aback by the extensiveness of the college process–because it was nothing like that when they were growing up. I understand that many schools are huge businesses and require a lot of staff and resources to function, but the total money needed for this would still be much less than they are expecting students to shell out–and don’t even get me started on the additional ridiculous price of textbooks (which are often required to succeed in a class).

I think the worst thing about college today is that it literally takes away opportunities from children who cannot afford college. I realize that I am personally very lucky because next year I will be able to have the experience of being able to go to college away from home. But I also realized that there are a lot of people my age who literally do not have that option. Even with government financial aid, some children do not have a family system that can support them in any way. And it is unreasonable for schools to expect 18-year-olds to take out loans if it means they will be trying to pay them off for the rest of their lives. It is true that a more-affordable community college is often a viable option, but imagine having to watch your friends get to move somewhere exciting and independent, while you have to stay at home! That is the reality for a lot of young adults, simply because they don’t want to be in debt before they even have a job. As senior Clara McGuan says, “I’m 17 and I have $13 in my bank account. It’s not fair that I’m expected to pay upwards of $20,000 a year”. 

Especially in a country where it is increasingly difficult to find a well-paying career without obtaining a higher education, and especially in a country where the gap between the very rich and the very poor continues to increase, the cost of college is making both of these problems a lot worse.