While graduation day is fast approaching for many students across the nation, instead of excitement at starting a brand new chapter in their lives, many of these students are facing a cruel reality that the years of hard work they paid into school to pave the way for their college future might have been all for naught.
Per information gathered by the Collage Board, the average cost of a year of tuition at a private university has beyond doubled in just the last two decades now running almost $35,000. Public universities are no better, their annual cost has more than tripled to almost $10,000 per year. The reality of these numbers is that the average cost of a year of tuition including fees, room and board at a public university is beyond 80% of the average annual earning wage of a woman in America and just over half of a man’s annual wages in America. This means that the cost of a college education has risen at almost three times as fast as average wages in the nation. What makes this situation all the more difficult is the fact that there is now less and less financial aid available for students. The end result is dashed dreams for many graduates each year who realize there is simply no way for them to attend college.
It seems that there is a disconnect with reality in America. The American dream is to go to school, go to college, secure a career to buy the home with a white picket fence for the family you’ll have. This dream is slowly slipping away from the majority of the youth in this country though, and findings from a study done by Wisconsin Hope Lab show just that. Of all college students they surveyed, over a third of them are insecure and worried about housing and/or food and around 10% of college students experience some sort of homeless state. For students living in poverty, this is their daily reality that is only exacerbated by college and all the debt they must incur in order to attend.
These students, and their education, is an investment in the future of the nation. In order for the country to continue to grow and succeed on a global scale, we have to place education as a priority. For personal stories of students struggling and missing out on college due to financial constraints, check out this Huffington Post article.