Universities and colleges around the nation have raised tuition steadily over the past 20 years and show no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, while tuition is on a constant rise, financial aid programs have not followed suit. It is this horrific escalation in tuition that hinders students from attending college.
As always, students, and their families, are on the losing end of a financial aid battle that pits them against their universities. After a while, the fight becomes tedious and discouraging. Often ending with dire consequences.
As the scenario goes, freshmen, excited high school has finally ended, spend the summer saying good-bye to family and friends and bragging about their future alma mater.
They arrive on campus excited and eager about the upcoming academic year. But their happy faces and bright eyes quickly turn into frowns and tears: They’ve just been informed that the tuition for the year has been raised.
With this appalling news, some students will drop out, others will attend school part-time and many will take out loans.
More often than not, those students attending school part-time and working full-time will eventually quit school. Name brand clothes will start to gain more importance than expensive schoolbooks.
So, who is attending college? Students with scholarships or wealthy families and those that have taken advantage of the meager financial aid opportunities remain in college.
Higher education is a part of the American dream. However, with increases in tuition, attending college is not a reality for many Americans. Our country thrives on excellence, yet makes it so hard to obtain.
Constance J. Rush, 18, is a freshman broadcast journalism student from St. Louis, Missouri. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.