When choosing a college that is right for students many people look at academics, location, programs, and size. However, for most seniors looking at colleges, the main concern is how much will it cost and how much debt they will be in. Student loan hero reports that the cost of higher education has grown 67% since 1970 and the average debt students are in after their 4 year degree is 30,000$. Student loan debt is estimated to be about 1.5 trillion dollars and expected to grow even higher. There are many reasons that can help answer the question on why college has become so expensive, but it can all be boiled down to more people are going to college and universities can not keep up. 

The Department of Education estimated that about 20 million college students in 2017 which is about 5 million more than in 2000. The reason for the massive increase in college students is the want for higher paying jobs. The reward of a degree helps students cope with the idea of having student debts. There is also an increase in pressure of going into higher education than pursuing straight into a career or going into the military. Students see the massive debt and the pressure of others to go into higher education which has caused the increase of college students and the cost of college itself. 

With more young adults seeking higher education colleges and universities have to hire more staff to accommodate more students. The staff is not just hiring more professors (that expect a high paying job), but a cluster of other employees like janitors, maintenance, cleaners, and cooks to help manage the new wave of college students. The universities can not handle paying for all these workers from the same funds as before, so colleges have to raise the price of tuition which in turn the students have to borrow more money and be deeper in debt.  

Another reason why college is more expensive is that State governments are giving very little money to their public universities. The College Board estimated the money given to universities per full time students is about 11 percent which has gone down in the last 10 years. The funding that is given to higher education can not keep up with the demand as more students seek higher education. About 80% of college students are attending public universities and since government can not keep up with funding, tuition is raised and the cycle continues. 

Reason after reason pile up to the rise of college tuition, but the main problem is that more people are seeking higher education. Universities can not keep with the same price as before because more people are going to college, so the universities need more money to give students a higher education. More staff and room is needed to handle the wave of students, so more money is needed. The more money needed raises the tuition and raises the debt for millions of Americans. States need to give more money to higher education to help with over a trillion dollars of debt Americans as more people want to seek higher education.

sources: https://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-college-so-expensive-2018-4

https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/2017-trends-in-college-pricing_0.pdf

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Explaining College Prices by Kaitlyn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. David 2 months ago

    Hi Kaitlyn, I enjoyed reading your post. I found it surprising how much the price of college has increased. This post really hit home seeing as though I’ll be attending college in the next few years. Hopefully, one day college will be more affordable and more widely available for people.

  2. Maggie 2 months ago

    Wow, fascinating that the cost of college is rising as fewer people are attending thus preventing even more people from attending due to costs–this is a cycle our nation should be trying to avoid because a less educated society would be disastrous in the long term. I fail to understand why our government over the decades has not allowed more money for public education, be it at the elementary or university level. Like protecting our natural resources, education is a worthwhile investment.

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