The High Cost of Education

Riley Gill, Columnist

Every school pushes the idea that after high school students will go to college, graduate, and get a good job with whatever degree they receive. For some students, this will not end up being an option. 

The cost of tuition and college has been increasing for years, this leaves some students and families having to disregard college in total if their child does not receive a scholarship. This ultimatum that a lot of families are left with is very unfair and needs to be changed. 

Without the worry of how to pay for the expenses of college, college would be available for every family. To see what it is like to have the opportunity of free college, I interviewed the one person I know has had it. This person is my grandmother, Ros Sweeting. 

Ros attended college at both University of Birmingham and Institute of Child Health, University of London, both in the UK, and graduated in 1969. She had gone to these colleges for a total of 7 years and did not have to pay for anything other than for her final examination. 

Along with this, Ros was being paid as a research assistant. This kind of education price would not be found easily today, at least not in America. Although there are some places that much cheaper college expenses can be found, as can be found here. There still are some countries that offer college prices like Ros had available. These kinds of colleges are very rare and not accessible to everyone, although they should be everywhere. 

Having this opportunity of expense free college would give students an advantage after college. Sweeting agrees with this statement also, especially with her experience. 

“I definitely believe that it was an advantage because I was able to use my resources to pursue my future life and career, said Ros. 

To compare this expense free education to someone who goes to college around that area this year, I interviewed my grandmother’s niece, Phoebe Sweeting. She said she is a first year student at Newcastle University also in England, she attends there for a 4 year long course and is studying in Masters of Pharmacy. Her education is different from her aunts though, she will be paying £9250 ($13,047 US dollars) per year in tuition. 

The price has significantly increased over 50 years, going from zero cost to over $10,000 dollars. The cost per year is not the only expense students will have to pay, student loans also stick with families for many years after graduation. 

Student loans are very expensive, so I asked Phoebe how much she will have to pay in total loans when she finishes college. 

“Overall I will be £54,072 in debt, and will start paying this back once I earn over a certain amount of money for 25 years, and after the 25 years, when I am around 50 years old, this will get written off and I will no longer pay the loan,” Said Phoebe. 

$74,708 USD is an excessive cost for school. Students pay on loans for years into adulthood, this causes a large burden when they have other bills to pay longer into their life. 

Although college is very expensive, there are some steps in the right direction when it comes to help with this expense. An example of this is something everyone is familiar with, scholarships. This is not the only help, Phoebe informed me that there is another kind of help where she attends college. 

“In the UK we have a Government service called ‘Student Finance’ which you can apply to for loans to pay tuition and they grant you a ‘maintenance loan’ based on family income to pay for living expenses,” Said Phoebe. 

These are still loans that have to be repaid, but it gives a sense of relief to students while in college so they can focus more on their learning. If these kinds of loans and helpers can take the stress of students for a short amount of time, imagine the relief that less expensive colleges will bring. 

College students already have immense amounts of stress, one big factor of that is the thought of how to pay for schooling. By reducing the cost, stress levels will reduce also. Not only does this leave more time for the students to focus on their education, it would allow more people to be able to attend college.  

Brooklyn College Campus by Beyond My Ken