The Reality of College


Nayimb Joyner, Guest Writer

In America, the ticket for success has long been considered a college education. From the start of every American’s educational experience, the end result is always considered to be college. Indeed, here at Aberdeen High School, Principal O’Brien constantly discusses the necessity of a college education and high school’s role in preparing students for a higher education.

The harsh and unfortunate truth is that many students that pass through the doors of high school do not get to go to college. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that only 65.9% of students that had graduated the previous year had went on to college. According to the National Education Association (NEA), only one in ten students from low-income families goes on to achieve a degree compared to half of families from high income families.

A major factor that prevents many students from going to college is money. Also, according to NEA studies, there has been a 225% rise in the cost of college tuition since 1985.

The average tuition per year for in-state students is around $10,000 and $24,000 for out-of-state students according to the College Board. That does not include various fees, books, housing, or food. For many Americans, college simply isn’t practical.

Students that do choose to go on to college often have to take out thousands of dollars in student loans. According to MarketWatch, the current total student loan debt is around 1.2 trillion and 70% of students graduate with debt. Furthermore, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that one in four student loan borrowers are in delinquency or default on their student loans.

When interviewed, one teacher at Aberdeen High School revealed that at that moment, she was in the middle of typing a request for forgiveness for some of her student loans. When questioned, she remarked, “College tuition is astronomical. It’s really, really difficult for the average person to pay for college.” One prospective college student said that it’s “crazy” how high college tuition is.

Ultimately, there is a definite need for reform some type of tuition reform in the United States. America cannot be called the land of equal opportunity when there are people that have a decided advantage overs simply based on birth. No student should be barred from achieving a higher education if they so desire it and are willing to work for it.

So, how can you afford college? Make sure to apply for lots of scholarships and grants. Talk to your guidance counselor for more information.