College: An Opinion

Recently, I have embarked on the wonderfully expending journey of applying to college. With six days until Early Decision applications are due, I certainly feel the pressure of completing my Common App and submitting the required supplements and test scores. With all this on my plate, I have noticed one incessant feature of college that truly brings me down: costs.

With ACT scores to send, CSS Profiles to fill out (ironically, this is a financial aid application that costs $9 to fill out and $16 to send), and lofty application fees, applying to college has been the most expensive gamble of my life – not to mention the $40,000 + I will pay for my tuition, fees, room, and board.

According to CollegeData.com, I can expect to pay over $42,224 per year on college (for a private college). I hope for scholarships. Of course, I will most likely get some to off-set such a high cost.

OPINION:

Is college too expensive?  Should the government play a more active role in financial aid?

Now that you have expressed your opinions, I will dispense mine:

Yes, college is too expensive. I feel this way because there is a chance that I may not be able to attend an engineering institution, like I want to. Engineering schools are often the most expensive type of college and without enough financial aid, I may not be able to afford to go. Loans are inevitable. I have read that you shouldn’t take out more money than you plan to make when you graduate (as a prospective civil engineer, that’s a relatively high $60,000), but that only $15,000 per year, a mere 36% of the average cost. Plus, who knows if I will find a job (again, as an engineer, my chances of employment are relatively higher than that of others). College is too expensive, but the costs are there for a reason. This brings up the question: If I deserve a higher education, who will pay in place where I cannot?

In France, the average cost of attending a university is about €300 (~$389) per year. Yes, per year. The government covers most of the cost of going to school; however, les universités are much different from American colleges. In order attend university after high school (le lycée), a student needs to pass the BAC (the most important exam in high school). High marks are difficult to achieve so many student study intensively for years to pass the exams. Some universities also have pre-entrance exams that require two-year courses to pass. A French student must work hard to enter college, but they are rewarded with inexpensive education. I feel that the United States should employ a similar type of system. Students who work hard and earn good grades should be given free education. For less academic-geared students, alternate education, such as trade schools should be endorsed. Sadly, our current system of enrolment is capitalistic. Colleges need to make money, but the government does not supply enough aid. Students of high income are more likely to go to college, regardless of their academic performance.  I think that is wrong. College should be available to all people. If the American Dream has any truth in it, our system of financial aid is severely lacking. I don’t see this revolution happening any time soon, but hopefully, our country will work harder to help the rising generation in the years to come.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you. This is EXACTLY what I am looking for you to do. You are gathering data while at the same time analyzing your own thoughts. Congratulations on blowing the curve!

    Reply

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