The high price of education


As college decisions come out this spring, some high school seniors are having to sacrifice their college education because of money. College tuition has become a rising issue, exacerbated by debates over tuition, free college, and student loans in the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2014-2015 school year, the price of annual tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions was $16,188 and $41,970 at private nonprofit institutions. After inflation, this resulted in a 33% increase in prices at public institutions and 26% increase in prices at private nonprofit institutions from 2004-2005 to 2014-2015.

To add on to the cost of college tuition, many students also go to private high schools, usually over concerns that public schools do not prepare students for college. In 2013, 9.7% of all students were enrolled in private schools, or about five million students. The national average annual private high school tuition is $13,538.

For students from lower-income families, paying high school and/or college tuition can be a problem. A 2015 Edward Jones poll found that 83% of Americans said that they could not afford a college education.

Why do we have a system where students need to sacrifice their education over money concerns? Steps should be taken to reform the education system.

First, the price of college should be lowered, whether it is through government intervention or by universities being more aware about raising fees. Someone should not have to decide between going to a community college or an Ivy League school based on cost.

Second, since most parents sending their children to private high schools believe public schools are inadequate, the public school system should be improved. Although we are fortunate at EPHS to get a very good education, this is not the case at many public schools. More state and/or federal funding should go towards schools so they can buy the necessary supplies and keep their teachers up to date with the latest curriculum and technology. In this way, students at public schools nationwide should be able to get a comparable education to a public school.

As we wait for education system reform, more and more students are having to sacrifice college education because of tuition concerns.