Paying for College, a Burden That Too Many Must Suffer Through

The case for supporting Stafford loans, Pell grants, and plausible methods for making college affordable to more people.

After a year of looking at and researching colleges, traveling from Washington, D.C. to Boston, and spending seemingly endless hours filling out applications, I finally decided where I wanted to attend school for the next four years. But, as for many other students my age, the cost is the greatest factor when making such a significant decision.

This process is overwhelmingly stressful to so many students and usually takes a lot of time. Beginning with taking SATs and/or ACTs (around six hours each), the college search is something you certainly cannot do quickly. It takes hours upon hours, days upon days, and it is no small task. The anxiety is only compounded by concerns about whether or not you can afford to attend the school where you would like to go.

In the last fifty years, the cost of paying for college has sky-rocketed to a point where students, including myself, will pay at least four times more for tuition than their parents did.

Some politicians, however, seem to think little of the burden being put onto today's graduates. Former Pennsylvania senator, and then-presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum called President Obama a snob for his statement that everyone should go be able to college. Here were are, just four months later, and he has endorsed and now supports a man who not only went to college at Brigham Young University, but also has earned a Bachelors Degree from Harvard Law School (like Obama) and an MBA and JD from Harvard University. So, needless to say, that is a little hypocritical.

Now, I am, like our President, in no way saying that everyone must attend a four-year college because it is obviously not for everyone.

In his 2012 State of the Union speech, on January 24, President Obama shared one woman’s personal story in dealing with the cost of education while the demand for at least a moderate salary: “Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie’s tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant.”

This is exactly what we need to do with our education system in the United States. Granted, not everyone chooses to be a mechanic, but this same plan could apply to other fields of employment as well. Find local companies and offices, connect them with colleges and schools so that professors are educating students about what really goes on and how to do it, and then watch the businesses, economy and, most importantly, our education system grow. Not only would this work right off the bat, but it could be copied by other districts and states, and maybe even other counties.

In less than a month, on July 1st, the interest rate on stafford Loans is set to double to 6.8%, after the decrease in subsidies in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Student loan debt as already reached over $1 trillion (and that was three months ago), and the average student loan debt on graduation is over $25,000.

Politicians would like you to think they know what is best for the education system in America. If they really did, then they all would realize how beneficial it is to keep interest rates on college loans as low as possible. If we don't, then it can (and will) only get worse. Not only for the economy, but also for the future generations of our country.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

sebastian dangerfield June 29, 2012 at 01:56 AM
new mildew Why do liberals always go to the default position of--those with hardships should be provided for --full stop....and if you dont support this position, you are greedy, and uncaring. Why dont we do this--- separate the country into registered democrats and registered republicans. If you want to pay for millions of dollars of healthcare treatment for someone with a very limited prognosis-- raise only democrats taxes--and feel truly good about yourself - and how you actually contribute to society. The problem with democrats are that a majority of them dont pay any taxes at all (thats right a majority) but they are more than happy to tell other people to pay for other people. It would be interesting to see the new policy and the invective if democrats were the only ones asked to pay for the thing they find so necessary and good. Im betting---that the proposals might then go in another direction. The problem with our democracy, is that once you get the party who doesnt pay taxes in power--they start spending an awful lot of money.....
NewMildew June 29, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Were you dropped on your head? I'm talking about equal rights for people with disabilities. It has ZERO to do with democrats and republicans. Nothing to do with taxes. Both Democrats and Republicans advocate for rights for people with disabilities, that includes access to things. It is NOT a political issue. I won't even respond to your idea that a majority of Democrats don't pay taxes because that just might be the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Seriously, I would have an easier time having a sensible discussion with a dining room table.
rk Jones June 29, 2012 at 02:14 AM
You referring to Romneycare in the Peoples Republic of Mass ?
rk Jones June 29, 2012 at 02:15 AM
So true !
Charles Cornwallace June 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM
How about this title: "Having To Pay Off College Debt; a Buden That All of Us Have Been Listening to Students Crying About." When my second son was just shy of 2, he would become frustrated by the vel-cro tabs on the sides of his huggies. he would pull at them in order to remove them and then begin crying-- he simply could not make sense of why they were there. One day, he stopped crying and seemed to begin using the potty from that point on. He stopped crying and did something about it. He didn't blame the diaper, the mother, the father, or even the company-- he just adapted. It may be time for a social curtesy flush of sorts because this behavior is starting to stink.


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