College tuition ruining dreams of students

Austin Ellis, News Editor

A young man, in his last semester of high school, begins applying to college after college. He hopes to pursue bigger and better things and his spirits are lifted when a letter comes in the mail from Wichita State saying he was accepted. Ecstatic, overjoyed, ready to pursue the job he has always wanted. After doing all the necessary steps for enrollment, financial aid comes in. Only $1,000. This may seem like a lot of money, but with tuition costing around $20,000 for one year, college seems more like a distant dream.

Over the past ten years, the price for furthering your education has increased exponentially. In Kansas, while it is considered one of the more affordable states to attend college, the prices according to collegecalc.org can range from $12,000 to $35,000; and this is just in-state tuition and the prices for the 2014-2015 school year. The tuition price for students coming from out of state can expect to pay close to double the price. If a student is wanting to go to college and continue their education, why punish them with forcing upon them tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt onto their lives? How can people expect us to be productive citizens when we are drowning in student debt?

Collegechoice.net gives some very interesting statistics. In 1982, the price of college cost around $10,000; today, that same education would cost about $25,000. Not completely awful, right? Oh, that’s without counting for inflation. With inflation, the price rises to over $50,000; so from 1982 to 2015, that’s a 500% increase in the price for college. The previous generation want us to create a better world for them, but they are destroying our chances of a happy life by sticking us with student debt up to our eyeballs for at least ten years. Ten years? It’s the amount of time colleges give you to pay back the money you owe them. Unless of course you can’t and have to work out spending more time paying back the money.

In America, our cry to the world is “we are free. We are free. We are free.” Yet, the total amount of student debt is in excess of $1 trillion. Let’s put $1 trillion in perspective. The United States, as a nation, has $18 trillion worth of debt. $1 trillion would pay for an elementary teachers salary for one year. It would buy 41,999,160 new prius’. One trillion dollars is enough to hire all 2.8 million residents of the state of Kansas — men, women and children — in full-time, minimum-wage jobs for the next 23 years, according to the kiplinger. $1 trillion can do a lot, yet this trillion isn’t going to jobs, cars, or anything like that.  All this money is dragging down students, keeping them from living their lives because they have to worry about making sure they make that next payment. If they don’t, they will be plunged deeper into debt, their credit scores will be destroyed, or they could be sued.

All of this is the result of greed. Every college wants to have the biggest and best everything, educationally and athletically. There are 72 college coaches paid over $1 million, with the highest being $7 million. Why not take some of this money and give it to the students in the form of scholarships? College isn’t only for the rich. Even those without a lot of money still want to continue their education but charging outrageous prices to attend ruins their chances of going.