Friday June 27, 2016

Dear President,

Hello, my name is Hailey Palmer and I am eighteen years old. As I have graduated from high school this year, I  have been working hard to get mentally and physically prepared for college. One big issue with attending college is that it has been difficult to set a budget and be able to afford tuition and living expenses. I’m not saying that college should be easy or that getting a higher education shouldn’t require a dollar amount, but it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. I have had many struggles this year by preparing myself and gathering enough money to live away from home. Growing up is complicated all in itself and this just adds to the stress. As it is time to grow up and be more independent in the world, it isn’t always easy. There are many struggles including going to college and being in a position to be able to afford it. I never realized how much money and time it took to prepare myself to actually move without including school.  I need your help to come up with a solution to make college more affordable. I never understood why taking the same classes and units at a community college is so much cheaper than attending a university. In my opinion, it is so much easier to finish and graduate from a university than from a community college since most people seem to take it more seriously. By going to a university, it adds to my funding list that I can’t easily afford.

The most stressful problem is the cost of attendance. Some people don’t always have the financial stability that they need to attend college. College tuition is rising quickly and particularly at the nation’s private colleges and universities. Both students and their parents face the question of whether a more expensive education leads to greater returns later in life. In the end, it is very depressing that some people can’t chase their dreams because they don’t have the money or support to do so. I’m very grateful for all of the financial aid I have received, yet it seems to not be enough. Money always seems to be a conflict in people’s lives but in order to have smart and intelligent people in the world, we need education. Furthering your education seems stressful at times and very difficult. This year I worked two part-time jobs, took a market animal to a county fair to sell for college money, and spent hours filling out scholarship applications. I also kept working hard to get good grades during my high school career to just be able to get a further education and be accepted to a university. I can truly say that it is exhausting to continuously be stressed about finding the money to afford moving out and into a dorm or an apartment and to go to college away from home. At eighteen years old, it is not likely to be able to completely afford to go to college. A college education, regardless of its future value, is without doubt one of the biggest financial challenges American families will face. My family and I both live on a low income and it is challenging just to pay the bills each month. People have to take out so many loans and end up in debt that continue throughout their lives to be able to major and work in a field that they enjoy. I hear the stories that people end up in hundreds of thousands dollars in debt and it is scary because I don’t want that to happen to me. I don’t want to constantly live with the weight on my shoulders of not being able to afford school. Later in life people tend to get married and have children of their own and I don’t want student loans to affect my future. I don’t want student loans to take away my happiness in life.

As I am writing this letter to you today, I want you to take into consideration of how many people are in debt due to student loans. Why is it such a challenge to further your education? Shouldn’t we all want to better the world by making smart and intelligent people? People who attend college and get a degree benefit by getting better jobs than those without a degree. There is a higher income for those who decided to get a degree and that is one of the only benefits on how to pay off student loan debt. A Pew Research Center report from earlier this year looked at earnings of Millennials (those born after 1980) who usually worked full-time in 2012. Among that group, workers with at least a bachelor’s degree had median annual earnings of $45,500, well over the medians for people with only some college ($30,000) or a high-school diploma ($28,000). Being financially stable is a very stressful component to everyday life. It might be worth it to some to get a great college education and have a higher income, but to some it’s scary to invest in something so expensive with possibilities of not having a promising future of a good lifelong career.

We need to give back to the students who decide to continue their education and help them afford college. We need to come together and help come up with a strategy and money to be able to help each and every student. This year for example, when I received my financial aid, I didn’t get as much as I thought I was going to get. I don’t want to be greedy but my family and I are not in the best life situation to comfortably afford college. It is not only stressful for me but for my family as well. All throughout my life we have had challenge after challenge as my mother raised me as a single parent for majority of my life. I’m thankful for where I am today and that my parents support me going to college and that I get the opportunity to attend CSU Chico. I will be the first person in my generation to attend college and that alone is huge in my eyes. I don’t want student debt to follow me through life being a burden on my family and I. I’m asking you to help me as much as you can as well as all of the other students going to college. I need your help to find a solution to being able to afford college. Budgeting is huge in college and it tends to stress many people out, including myself. It’s hard to not stress when people keep having to borrow money to afford the things they need. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my letter and I hope that together we can come up with a solution. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Hailey Palmer

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Lowering the Cost of Attendance by Hailey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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