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The problem of rising tuition fees from a sociological perspective
How does the sociological imagination allow us to view problems differently? Think about a private trouble and how it relates to a "public issue." How can your private trouble be better understood by looking at changes that have happened in our society? What sorts of major changes in our society might alleviate your private trouble? What options or choices are available to you for improving your private trouble?
According to Anna Leon-Guerrero, the sociological imagination allows us to connect personal, lived experiences with the world around us. Therefore, we view problems differently because we come from different backgrounds and circumstances, which shape our perspectives as well as the issues we may or may not face.
Currently, I am considering applying to grad school in the fall, and I am wondering how I will pay for it. The fact that the cost to attend college has increased 202 percent in 22 years is disturbing. The cost of tuition is increasing faster than family income in the U.S.... three times as fast, to be exact. Since I graduated in 2008 from state school, tuition has already doubled for my younger brother is who also attending a school in the same system. Tuition for the California State University system was about $1,800 per year in 2001 and is now more than $9,000!
However, I know that I’m not alone, as I am surrounded by people in the same situation here in San Jose. I was even invited to attend a concert at San Jose State University that was meant to direct attention to increasing tuition and what could be done to stop the rising costs.
It would be easier to understand this issue by learning about its history, who is involved, and what has been done in the past about the issue. Major social changes could positively affect this issue, including changes in educational policy, student loan regulations and terms, and even the economy at large. If, say, Barack Obama pledged a bigger chunk of national funds for grants or scholarships, or if tuition costs went down, then that would certainly affect one’s ability to pay for college.
As far as my own options for acting on this trouble, I have a few at hand. As an AmeriCorps member, I have an educational grant waiting for me at the end of my term of service. I can apply for scholarships and other forms of financial aid. I can also attend events like the concert I mentioned earlier in order to learn more about the issue and even share my opinions about it.
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