ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The High Cost of Education- College Tuition and Inescapable Debt

Updated on October 9, 2016

The Inflation of College Tuition Costs is an Obvious Problem

Student Debt- The Facts and Figures

Student debt and rising college tuition costs are an epidemic in the United States. Without a doubt, college tuition and student debt is America’s largest problem. In 2008, the percentage of students graduating from a four year institution with at least some student debt remaining was at an all time high of 67% nationwide (Project on Student Debt, 2010). 67% of college students equates to 1.4 million graduates, a staggering number that is growing that an alarming rate. The rising cost of college tuition and the prevalence of student debt in America is leading many parents to question whether higher education is the best choice for their children (Ken, 2013). The demand in the workplace for a degree from a college or higher level institution however pushes people into making decisions that may haunt them financially in the future. The rising cost of tuition combined with the student debt crisis is currently America’s biggest problem.

Save Now! Retire When You're 100!

The Rising Cost of Tuition

Tuition costs have been rising for years. High demand for a higher education, inflation, and poor support and funding from the government have all lead to an increase in tuition costs at both public, private and not for profit institutions across the country. Valerie Strauss, a writer for the Washington Post had this to say about the rising cost of tuition:

“The Path to Prosperity report also raises concerns about the cost of higher education, stating that “College costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation for about thirty years, but this year fees soared 8.3 percent -- more than double the inflation rate -- as federal subsidies have increased at a historic pace.” President Obama asserts repeatedly: “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition” (Strauss, 2012).

Strauss continues to dive into the issues with rising tuition breaking apart the differences between net tuition and cost and expenditures involved in the education process. More people than ever are attempting to obtain a college degree due to a high demand in the workplace for higher education. This increase in demand is what drives institutions to raise their costs. Along with increased inflation, states have had to deal with a decrease in student subsidies and total state subsidies from the federal government (Strauss, 2011).

Federal government is failing to fund public and private institutions properly and students are suffering by not receiving the quality of funding they deserve. Although the cost of tuition has gone up on average, the cost to put a student through the institution, the cost to educate the student properly, that cost has remained the same. Step one in fixing the problem with student debt is by properly allocating government funding so that schools are getting the funding they deserve.

CNN: Why Tuition Keeps Rising

The Financial Aid and Student Loan Trap

So why have college tuition costs not only suffered from inflation, but inflation rates of 4-6% annually- rates that far exceed normal expenses (Ken, 2013)? Some factors that force institutions to increase their tuition include the growing demand for teachers due to abysmal pay in their field, high demand from employers for employees to obtain degrees and the spiraling circle of financial aid and student loans (Ken, 2013).

Many students rely on student aid, scholarships and student loans in order to achieve a higher education. Students may work their whole life trying to earn a scholarship to a certain institution only to find out that they were not selected, and are now faced with a very tough decision- find a way to pay for the education or choose to skip out on the education altogether. Evidence has shown however that the benefits of getting at least a bachelor’s degree greatly improves a person’s chance of advancing in the workforce.

“Data from the government proves that higher education degree completion is important for job seekers; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 the unemployment rate was more than twice as high for persons without a high school diploma than for persons with an Associate’s degree. That gap widens to three times in comparison to persons who hold a Bachelor’s degree” (Gulbrandsen, 2011).

Because of this, many students choose to go the route of financial aid and student loans, which is why America wound up with a student debt total around $51,040,000 in 2008- and that number is only growing (Project on Student Debt, 2009). In 2012, student debt topped $1 trillion and the individual debt of students reached the highest average ever (Luh, 2012). Step two in fixing the student debt crisis relies on addressing the rising interest rates associated with student loans and financial aid given from colleges.


The Cost of an Education is More than Many Can Bare

Reasons the Cost of Education are on the Rise

The interest rates on loans are climbing steeply and students still in school and even graduates are finding it close to impossible to find a job that can support them well enough that they can pay off their loans as well as the rest of their living expenses.

Students who graduate leave college with a massive weight on their chest knowing that they are already so far in the hole as far as their debt is concerned, and now they have to find a job to support themselves in the real world. “The unemployment rate for those age 16 to 24 with bachelor's degrees stood at 8.1% in February [of 2012], up from 4.6% four years earlier. Many others find themselves underemployed” (Luh, 2012). With statistics like these, it makes higher education look less than appealing.

People in the United States are finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, needing to choose between an education they can not afford and a job that can not sustain them. It is a vicious circle that affects millions of people in the United States.

Although the facts show that without a degree, the odds of landing a high paying job are slim to none, the facts also show that even with a degree, graduates may not be able to find jobs that pay well enough that they can pay off their loans in a timely manner.

Education costs are also rising because teachers’ wages are astonishingly low and the demand for teachers is extremely high. If teachers can not make a living wage at their job, they will not continue to work at that job, and class sizes will increase, costs will increase and the problem will continue. Step three in addressing the student debt crisis and rising tuition problem is by raising teachers’ wages to more reasonable pay rates.

How Surging Tuition Squashes Diversity

Believe it or not, there are actually college that offer students a free education. This guide helped me find resources to go to school without winding up with

Survey About the Cost of Education

Would you pay the high prices currently being asked by colleges in order to get an education?

See results

Is High Tuition Going to Deter Future Students?

Whether or not a person is going to pursue a college degree is a tough decision that everyone must make at some point in their life.

“"Having a lot of student debt can make a person's life very difficult," said Lauren Asher, president of the Project on Student Debt. But workers with bachelor's degrees earn about $650,000 more over their lifetime than their peers who only have high school diplomas, a recent Pew Research Center analysis found” (Luh, 2012).

No one can predict the future. If that were the case, it would be much easier to decide whether or not a college education is necessary. Since it is not the case, the growing student debt combined with the rising tuition costs for higher education institutions needs to be reformed by the federal government.

Public, private, and not for profit schools all need more funding so that students do not leave school trapped in a web of debt they can not get out of and teachers’ wages need to be increased so schools have more room for the growing demand of students who truly want to go to college.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal 4 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thank you, yes it is a really atrocious situation we are causing in America. I know that I could probably finish the degree I was working on years ago if it weren't for the ridiculous tuition costs. it is such a shame the hoops we make people jump through for an education

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Sending this around again! Such an important --and overlooked issue!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      We're losing 50 years of opportunities for higher education advancement. Since WWII and the advent of the GI Bill the possibility of a college education was open to everyone. At the rate we are going, only the rich will be able to go from now on.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Interesting hub! This is the next big bubble in the U.S. economy I think--

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)