POLITICS & STUFF | The Problem of College Unaffordability

Arthur E. Levine once said, “When a quality education is denied to children at birth because of their parents’ skin color or income, it is not only bad policy, it is immoral.” It is because I believe education is a universal right, not a privilege, that I believe the United States federal government should help provide affordable college education through grants and federal aid. First, the cost of college has become an obstacle in accessing increasingly necessary post-secondary education. According to the US Department of Education, even when inflation was accounted for, “the cost of obtaining a university education in the US has soared 12 fold over the past three decades… [increasing] four times faster than the [that of] consumer goods, medical expenses, and food.” The uncontrolled increase in tuition in the years of recovering from a recession is making college an unattainable goal for millions of students, making the American Dream a privilege to those who already come from well-off families. In fact, Sara Goldrich-Rab and Nancy Kendall of the US Department of Education conducted a study in 2013 and found that those who come from low-income families are 12 to 16 times more likely to forgo college. However, in an era of fierce competition within the job market, those who do not have a college degree have little chance of climbing up the socioeconomic ladder.