The cost of college tuition has considerably gone up over the years. There are no signs that tuition costs are likely to reduce soon given the rates of inflation and economic strains the nation in going about its operations. Even with the federal student aid programs created by the state government since the 1960s and 70s, the cost is still high compared to the ability of middle and low-class students can afford. While the high cost of college tuition varies per state in the United States of America, it is relatively beyond the expected good level. Therefore, students from low-income households are feeling the pain of rising college tuition fees forcing them to take loans beyond the expected income share of their families. Several factors influence the rising costs of college tuition that affect students in the various states differently. This paper seeks to examine the reasons behind the rising college tuition; the possible solutions that can help reduce the cost as well as explore the various findings, discoveries, and recommendations regarding the high college costs.
One of the main reasons behind the soaring college tuition costs in the United States of America is the economic crisis. The recent recession forced several companies including the government to lose significantly. The recession placed a massive strain on the economic growth and developing of several states leading most of them leaving with no sustainable income to meet the demands of the citizens. For instance, Washington state had its sales taxes slumping during the recession hence the state had no much money to drive the operations. The public universities in Washington were granted the authority to increase the tuition. In June 2012, the University of Washington announced a 16 percent raise in fees and tuition during the following year (Dow, 2012). Similarly, during the same period, Nevada has increased tuition and fees at most of its community college by up to 48 percents over a period of five years. The state approved an 8 percent increase in tuition costs for all undergraduates. It is an indication that recession has a significantly direct influence on college fees and tuition (Campos, 2015). The effects faced by different states differ basing on other social, political and economic factors.
Inflation also stands out as the main cause of increased college costs in most institutions in America. Keeping up with the global economic demands and the high cost of living calls for an increased expenditure. As colleges and universities try to cope with the modern demands of educational systems, they are forced to increase tuition fees. The technological advancement in academic institutions makes learning expensive because the college cannot meet the bills with the standard fees it has been receiving over the past years. The only remedy most colleges have done is to increase tuition.
According to the Atlantic Monthly, tuition, and other related charges have been skyrocketing more than two times the rate of inflation since 1980 in the United States (Washburn, 2008). In elite schools such as Brown and Harvard, the cost is more than $35,000 leaving out several students who are bright but cannot afford. The Atlantic Monthly illustrates that the biggest problem remains with the public institutions that give an opportunity to more than 80 percent of the students. The Journal found out that in 2003, tuition fees in public colleges in Iowa went up by 22 percent to $5,028 annually while in the University of Arizona; the yearly tuition increased by 39 percent reaching $3,604 (Washburn, 2008. The continuous increment makes it hard for students from low-income households from accessing a college education.
From the analysis, it clearly comes out that the best solution is to waive tuition fees in public colleges so that most students can access higher education. Given the current demands of individuals with university degrees in most job opportunities, a greater deal for a student from low-income households needs to be developed. The proposed America’s College Promise that would establish a new partnership with states will help students be in a position to complete at least two years of their college education (White House, 2015).
Another possible solution is to restructure community colleges as it has given an opportunity to a significantly high number of students who cannot afford the university fees. The federal government should strengthen and reform the policies governing student loans (Dow, 2012). The loans should be tax-free to allow the students utilize the maximum amount to pay their school fees. Thus, the amount of grant allocated to each student should be proportional to the tuition fees. Nevertheless, when the tuition fees continue to rise every year, it will be difficult for students to pay their fees. Therefore, the state and federal government need to come together to establish a neutral ground that allows tuition-free studies.
In light of the above, several authors on their research conclude that the problem rests on public colleges that host more than 80 percent of the entire students’ population in the United States. Establishing neutral grounds that will ensure colleges make a budget for the tuition fees for their students to avoid the aspect of constantly increasing the college costs in essential.