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The problem of rising tuition fees from a sociological perspective

Updated on September 17, 2012

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.

Why college tuition keeps rising - CNNMoney


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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for the comments.

      Faisal, this Hub was first published 01/07/09. You can use my username :)

    • profile image

      Faisal Alajmi 5 years ago

      Hi there

      I wanna use your article for my research could you tell me your full name and the date of publishing.


      Faisal Alajmi

    • profile image

      Twin XL 8 years ago

      Great hub with excellent info. Thank you so much for taking the time to post!

    • Clara Ghomes profile image

      Clara Ghomes 9 years ago

      Nice points discussed. Thanks for sharing:)

    • kerryv profile image

      kerryv 9 years ago from New York, NY

      You raise so many good points. Tuition costs are such a major issue today. Good luck. Keep us posted!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Glassvisage, it depends, of course, on whether the education involved is vocational training or academically geared. Both medical school and law school are basically vocational training. It's like purchasing a license to practice. You will have pay tuition for that. But if you choose an academic subject, like math or biology or linguistics or even literature, then there are full tuition waivers and stipends for the asking.

    • robbwindow profile image

      Robert Bridge 9 years ago from London

      Great hub fascinating how cheap it to get educated in the States, well done for taking the enitiative to continue your studies. Studying is cool. Again, well done.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks everyone! katy, "think carefully by plunging"? Hm...

      Aya, I haven't thought of it that way. I've never heard of not having to pay for grad school... what a concept/opportunity!

      Elite, so true! I've wavered between going for a masters and not because I hear from many who have one that they feel it was pointless :S

    • elitesystem profile image

      elitesystem 9 years ago from VA, USA

      well apart from getting financial aid, students who want to pursue their goal by studying in real good univarsity are really disappointed! its really getting tough now!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Glassvisage, the increase in tuition is a problem for those wanting to get their first degree. However, if you are thinking of going to grad school for an advanced degree, you should not have to pay tuition at all. If they charge you tuition, it means they think you have no contribution to make to their research, and they don't believe in your potential. Investigate programs that offer full tuition waivers and even stipends to cover your expenses while in grad school.

      Advanced degrees that you have to pay for are not worth the paper they are printed on. You are obviously very intelligent. You will qualify for a stipend. Don't sell yourself short.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      You have given this a great deal of thought and an interesting perspective.

      Solutions seem very much on an individual basis.

      I think everyone should think very carefully by plungeing into courses and expecting specific outcomes.

      Life, itself, will determine that. Whatever you decide I wish you all the benefits you desire.

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      It's crazy, rich! Thanks for the compliment... I used to write for a newspaper, but I got beat out by better writers :)

      Anjalichugh, you should link to that Hub!

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      I know it's scary. Going to college is becoming difficult in view of the sky rocketing tuition fee. However, I personally believe that if you really want to do it, you'll find out a way. I just read Fran Horvath's latest hub on 'attracting divinity' in our lives with 'productive thoughts' and it is a fact. I experienced it so many times in my life and so will you, if only you tell yourself that you just have to do it. Good luck.

    • profile image

      rich sinpson 9 years ago

      Goodness I had no idea college costs have increased so dramatically. With your writing skills, perhaps you might consider doing free lance copy work for ad agencies, individual advertisers to earn money for your graduate school costs. Good luck from a loyal fan.


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