By: Ricza Lopez (Buffalo State College)
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Every year more and more students are attending college thanks to scholarships, grants and loans. Grants and scholarships are indeed a great help but most of the time do not pay a good chunk of the college bill. Loans are what help pay a majority of the bill which does not initially concern students, but does become a stressor after they have completed their studies. Unfortunately, with state budgets being cut in colleges and universities, it is making it that much harder for students to even attend or continue their pursuit of a degree. Many students are in the dark and not even aware of the reasons for the rising costs of education. For one, tuition is always increasing by a few hundred dollars each semester. Though tuition is sometimes cheap if a student is attending college in-state, there are other college fees such as meal plans and room and board charges that make bills at an all time high.
The fact that these costs are rising every year is an issue for many reasons. One major area of concern is that while the costs of a quality education is increasing, the quality is not getting that much better than what it previously was. The next reason is that with fear of students not being able to attend school, they have to make alternative plans to be able to fund their education. They go as far as even lowering their meal plans or cutting them out completely. There are even instances in which students choose the cheapest dormitory to live in or even make the move to live off campus to make their education possible. These kinds of measures affect universities greatly because the school is not making any revenue with the loss of students in premier housing.
Another major problem is the immense cost of college often forces students to resort to taking out a loan. What this will mean is that those students will sink deeper and deeper into debt that they would have to pay after graduation making schools not that affordable to attend. If this takes place, not only can it drive students further into debt, it would make the hopeful dream of attending college almost impossible.
Addressing the cost of schooling is so important is because anyone has the opportunity to go to college. The major issue, however, is how is the funding going to be made possible, especially when there are families who cannot even provide any funding out of pocket. The important factor is financial aid and how much this could cover the cost of attendance for each individual student to see if their dream of obtaining a degree can become an actuality With all of these issues taking place, it could possibly lead to the decline of students attending college every year due to funding issues and loan debts. Whether increasing the cost of college is done for the benefit of the state or these institutions, this is a crisis that is not only felt on the local level of New York; this is a serious matter taking place on a national level as well. With the high demand in the work force for proof of higher education, it’s making it harder for our society to at least obtain a job. This is why we need to be aware of the value of a degree and keep it in mind when it comes to budgeting and money.