Out of all of the things that President Barack Obama’s campaign promised, perhaps the most pertinent to my generation is the affordability of college. It’s hard to argue that a college education isn’t beneficial to the individual as much as it is for society as a whole, and that’s why such an opportunity is so important.
It’s disheartening that our government deemed private banks worthy of billions of dollars of a bailout but we can’t support our own students who are merely trying to educate themselves in order to better themselves and our society.
While it’s true that college is affordable to a lot of low income students are because they receive both state and federal aid, it rarely covers room and board and other miscellaneous expenses which are simply not affordable with only a part-time job.
Oftentimes, it makes college very cheap or even free but those who make too much to qualify and too little to afford paying out of pocket have few options.
Argentina is ranked 24th by the CIA World Factbook in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the United States is ranked 2nd, yet the United States does not offer free college education in public universities while all citizens of Argentina receive free tuition.
One of the main problems with paying for college is that the middle class rarely gets help. I’m not saying that college should be free, but as of 2008, according to the non-profit organization Project on Student Debt, the average student graduates $23,200 in debt.
If there were a guarantee of getting a job right after college, perhaps the $23,200 wouldn’t seem like that expensive of an investment but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for people aged 20-24 is 13.9 percent — about four percent higher than the general national unemployment rate.
The reality of the situation for today’s college student is that it is very expensive to attend college, it is hard to get a job once a degree is acquired and help is rarely available to those that are within the middle class.
Someone needs to take some responsibility and stand for us — the future of this country and of this world. The most basic way of doing this is by facilitating the process of getting educated by making it more affordable. This way, students can begin to focus on the Pythagorean Theorem, the philosophy of Nietzsche and the proper use of a semicolon as opposed to the economics of how to make it through life without an obscene amount of red ink on their credit scores.