The Cost of Universities

Ke’ilani Sedrick

Mr. Schmidt

Sophomore English

29 January 2018

Currently, a discussion up in the air, being disputed left and right, is whether or not universities should be free. We continue to see the amount of money used to pay for this second round of education, and the question is if it is necessary for students.

Once these students graduate, they are sort of thrown to the vultures with only their hopes and dreams and some money from their parents to get started. As they continue their studies, financial debt kicks in and these students could be stuck in debt for years, but for some, the only way out of debt is to continue to further themselves into the education process. As the years of studying grow, so do the bills. In the United States, there is a total of $1.48 trillion of student loan debt and 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt. With the amount of money these people have to pay, the pressure to get them paid off is very high. More than 30% of students drop out within the first year, and with that percent, 60% have no financial support.

There are some students who are financially disadvantaged and may want to pursue a greater education but they are no longer able to due to the lack of money. We realize that even if they tried to pay for college, they would not be able to find the financial support within the years of college or even after that. With 14.5%, more than 45 million people live in poverty in America according to 2012. This number could influence the productivity of America and eventually the world.  Even within high school, some kids are forced to get jobs just to support their families, but some of these kids also have goals after high school. For these kids to not be able to fulfill further education just because of their financial status and inability to get out of major poverty, is unfair because of the work that they have put in and yet are still not privileged enough to get the university experience.

As students, we have a right to continue our studies which will allow us to get better jobs and build a better society as we gain the knowledge for free. The university experience allows us to explore new things and learn the basics of living on our own. As we send people off onto college, to allow them the opportunity to gain more knowledge for free and then later send them off into the world to pursue their dream job, we can get more people out into the workforce with more intelligence, also more ideas are made easily with a lot of people to influence it. Multiple people are looking for a job that allows them to gain money and stay out of debt.

We do recognize that young adults can get jobs while in college to pay off this debt, but on average, students take fifteen credits, so that allows 15 hours of school, plus outside study time which is said to take 3 hours per credit hour, so with this load, about 45 hours are spent studying throughout the week plus the 15 in class would mean 60 hours of time spent on school. Assuming that they get the average 6 hours of sleep, that allows them 90 hours altogether leaving only thirty hours to work and do outside activities in order to stay healthy. This is only counting the school days, Monday-Friday. College students work more than twenty hours a week to try and pay off college, feed themselves, and pay for their living spaces. These young adults aren’t maintaining a healthy, realistic lifestyle as they continue to tear themselves apart over school and a job and worrying if they’re going to be able to pay off their bills this month. Also, although more education isn’t a particular right, without education, our society would never thrive and would never create new ideas. The difference of making universities free could allow a greater expansion of the mind in individuals creating more proposals for the future. Universities need to be free to determine a better fate.

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