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Rebecca Rubio

Leigh Ann Moore

English 1301

11 October

The Price is Not Right

In the United States, going to college and getting a degree is a fundamental step in order

to have a career. "In fall 2017, some 20.4 million students are expected to attend American

Colleges and universities, constituting and increase of about 5.1 million since fall 2000" (Fast

Facts). In the school year of 2015-2016, the tuition cost excluding all fees ranged from 16,757 to

43,065 in public, private and 4 year universities. As the years pass by those numbers will

increase, but that will not stop students from getting an education. The cost of college has

become a prominent issue due to the fact that although a college education is a fundamental step

for success, many students do not want to be left in student debt.

Obtaining a degree takes a lot of work that not everyone wants to go through, but the

ones who do see that a degree comes with a lot of benefits. Although not everyone can afford to

go to an Ivy League school, they have made community colleges affordable to where students

can obtain an education without being in debt. Students get the same education for a fraction of

the price. Even though some people were born into a higher socioeconomic status, that does not

mean that those in a lower socioeconomic status cannot attend college. It is possible to obtain an

education if they work hard and put in time and effort. At the beginning of high school it is made

clear that what is done in high school is what colleges look at and that you have to do good in

order to get a good scholarship. Getting good grades, being active within the school, and scoring

high on SAT/ACT testing are all things that would stand out on any scholarship application.
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Another common way of obtaining a scholarship is through playing a sport. Nothing good ever

comes easy therefore academics and sports are both things that students have to put in more than

a hundred and ten percent in if students want to excel. The most common thing to do is to take

out a loan, which is not as bad as many make it seem. There are many ways to go about taking

out a loan and paying it back. Paying a loan back is temporary while a degree lasts a lifetime.

Students may do a few semester in college and realize that it is a waste of money or

simply not their forte and become entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs take a shortcut because instead of

being in school for a couple of years to get a degree, then pay of their loans, and finally become

economically stable, these entrepreneurs may save a little money to open up a business and they

see profit right away. Others may want to go to college but just don't have the money to do so.

Although there are many scholarships and financial aid programs such as FAFSA, there are a lot

of people who apply and there just simply is not enough to help every student that wants to

attend college. There are some who receive absolutely nothing, a couple hundred, and the lucky

ones receive thousands of dollars. For example, Illinois provides $924 in state grant aid per

student, while South Dakota does not provide any state financial aid to its students (National

Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs, 2005). $924 can nothing more than a

semesters worth of books but it could also be a semesters worth of tuition. Not everyone is

academically intelligence therefore chances of obtaining an academic scholarship are slim to

none. Some people might think that if a student plays a sport they will get recruited by a college,

but that is not necessarily true because there are many high school student athletes trying to

achieve the same goal. There are a million athletes in the United States competing for a limited

number of spots on an university athletic team so getting an athletic scholarship is not all that

easy. If a student cannot afford a main stream university, they may decide to attend a
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community college and get their basics and then transfer to a university because many people

think that it is cheaper this way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that however employers

might think differently. If two applications were sitting on an employer's for a nurse position and

one was from a student who attended a four year university and the other was from a student who

attended a nursing program at a community college and this is community colleges are known

for being less rigorous than universities(Education Corner). Although they might have been

taught the same exact thing and had the same amount of experience the employer is obviously

going to choose the student who attended the four year university.

Most people believe it is required to have an education but not everyone can afford it.

The main reason that students do not attend college is because they either cannot afford it or they

do not want to be in debt with student loans. However, there are risks in both obtaining a degree

and taking a shortcut because neither one guarantees that you will be successful and neither one

guarantees that you will not be successful. It would be beneficial if the government spent more

time trying to find ways to make college accessible and giving aid to entrepreneurs instead of

fundraising for useless programs. A good start could be student loan forgiveness, financial aid,

lowering tuition cost or making community college free. No one should have to pass on the

opportunity of obtaining an education due to the fact that they cannot afford it.
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Works Cited

Community Colleges Vs. Universities. Community Colleges vs. Universities,

www.educationcorner.com/community-college-vs-university.html. Accessed 21 Oct 2017

Doyle, William R. "The Politics of Public College Tuition and State Financial Aid." Journal of

Higher Education, vol. 83, no. 5, Sep/Oct2012, pp. 617-647. EBSCOhost,


Accessed 09 Oct 2017

Nutting, Andrew W. "Tuition and the Outcomes of Community College Attendance: Simulations

for Academic-Program and Occupational-Program Students." Education Economics, vol.

22, no. 6, Nov. 2014, pp. 614-634. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/09645292.2012.754404.

Accessed 09 Oct 2017

The NCES Fast Facts Tool Provides Quick Answers to Many Education Questions (National

Center for Education Statistics). National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home

Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of Education,

nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372. Accessed 15 Oct 2017