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Rising Tuition Costs in a Struggling Economy

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Message Hannah Purtymun

I am part of the new generation. A generation that will be coming into a workforce where jobs are limited and only the best get the higher-paying salaries. By the best, I mean the most educated, those who have a college degree or even a master's in their field. In order to be considered "successful" in our society we must strive to go to college and get that higher education. However, it is not an affordable endeavor anymore, with rising tuition rates and a lower amount of financial aid for those whose families incomes are considered middle class. So instead of considering expensive private colleges and universities we begin looking into public colleges and universities, which will provide us with the valuable college education we need to be successful. However, all we find are less-expensive tuition rates that are increasing every year until they almost match those private institutions. This is because state funding for public colleges and universities has declined in recent years due to the fact that they are putting their tax resources toward supporting other programs and while all state programs need funding, education is an investment into our future.

Education is also a matter of equality. In my home town it is expected by society that my peers and I will go to college and on to graduate or professional school. However, for some that is an unattainable goal due to the increasingly expensive tuition rates. This causes those who do not go to college or even just those who do not go to college somewhere that is considered "prestigious" to be looked down upon by their peers. The opportunity to receive an affordable higher education should be available to all, not just for those who can afford it. Without a college degree not only will we be looked down upon by our peers but we will also not be capable of being successful in the current economy. We can see from the Ukraine-Russia conflict that social sustainability is hard to achieve and even keep, so the more important it is for us as a society to promote as much equality as possible, from education to income.

I am currently a high school senior who will in the next month or so be graduating and moving on to a college education. This issue is real and it affects everyone from high school seniors to the senators in Washington D.C. For my Senior Research paper in my Humanities class I was asked to try to solve an issue that affected the larger community. That is what this is. My solution. Tuition rates are rising high enough that most students cannot afford a college education, which is necessary to be successful in today's economy, and is necessary for our society to be sustainable. Many solutions for this issue have been implemented in the last decade; however, none of them have provided lasting relief. The G.I. bill was implemented in 1944 and provided a free higher education to war veterans due to America's tax dollars. It was successful. What I suggest is that we now implement the same type of bill but on a much larger scale. We should raise taxes for those in the higher classes, which will not only provide funding for an affordable education for all but will also help lessen the income-inequality gap. However, in order to make it a possible solution, instead of providing a free education to all, it will be free for those who meet a certain admission requirement and then for those who do not meet those requirements they pay a small tuition rate until they reach an acceptable GPA and then it will be free. This will create a larger amount of valuable human capital, boosting the economy, while also providing higher education for all, creating equality. I admit there are issues with my solution but I found a possible solution that will fix the issue at least to an extent better than what we have today.

This is me, a member of the new generation, reaching out to society, to college-aged students, families, and politicians, to promote social change. In order to be in a sustainable society and economy, we must find ways to improve our methods. Nothing is ever perfect.
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Rising Tuition Costs in a Struggling Economy

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