In our time as seniors we have started applying to colleges, or even getting accepted to the schools that we have applied too. It is a societal norm to go to college, and most people feel forced to go, because it is what everyone does. I can remember as a little kid, the excitement of going off, moving away from your parents, and starting your own life. For many of us, we have the opportunity to be supported by our parents and family to get through college, but there are others who do not have that stability.

According to College Data, a “moderate” college cost for an in-state public college for the 2016–2017 academic year averaged $24,610 and the average cost at a private college averaged $49,320. The cost is surprising to me because each year the cost keeps getting more and more expensive. For me, I applied to many colleges, and one of them Loyola Marymount University, where it cost about $65,000 a year to go there. I tallied up all of this, and that means I would $260,000 for a simple bachelor’s degree.

When I put that into context, the average american makes about $81,440 a year. That means if I lived in an average household, and wanted to go to LMU with no scholarships, I would take up about 80% of my families income in one year of college. This is shocking to me that one year of college has gotten this expensive. I then took a look at the average rate of graduation, and found according to NCES, only 59% of people who attend college will actually graduate. Both of these numbers, surprise me especially with college coming up soon for me. There are obviously federal grants, and scholarships, that many of the colleges accept and offer that can substantially lower the cost, and make it a reality for most kids to go school. And there are also kids, who do not fit the role of going college, and play a number in the drop out rate. So I do see how both of these figures can change depending on your situation

For me, going to college is very important, because I do want to further grow my knowledge, and someday be able to start my own career, and family. However, I do not see myself benefitting from going to a school that costs more than I can afford. I do think that College is worth it, and finding the right one is important, and applying for finical aid can help in the long term. I have put all of these factors in my college search, but I do find how interesting it is talking to my parents or even grandparents, and listening to how easy it was to get into college, and how little it cost for them to attend.


  1. Anna 3 years ago

    As a senior, this is on the forefront of my family’s mind. No matter what school you go to, at the end of the day you’re paying for a degree, and it’s insane that it can cost up to $60,000 a year to attend college. This is such an interesting topic, and if you’d like to find out even more, I found a great article about just how much the price of college (private public, and in-state) has gone up in the last twenty year: I agree with you that going to college is really important, and you pretty much need to go in todays world. Thanks for your post!

  2. Jack 3 years ago

    I think that this is a very revenant topic in the world today. I am also a senior in High School and going through the application process and seeing what college is the right one for me, cost is a very large part of deciding where to go. I think that you have a very strong topic and agree with what you have said above.

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