Sunday, May 19, 2024

Is college worth the high prices?


By Victoria Campbell 

College prices and the overall impact it has on college students continue to rise. The price comparison between the 1960s and 2024 is exceptionally high.

The average total cost of a four-year college in 1963 was roughly $11,000 per year according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2024, at SUNY Plattsburgh specifically, the total cost is typically around $26,000 a year for in-state students. That means that college has increased by about 240% between those 60 years.

Students deal with the stress of school and finances only make those worries worse. Mental health and loan debt have several linking factors through studies. Around 40%  of students who borrow higher loans experience depression because of the stress it causes, according to a mental health awareness survey conducted by Student Loan Planner.

In the United States, one in 15 students who borrow loans have stated they have considered suicide due to their debt, according to the same survey mentioned above. College students do not only have the stress of classes, work and outside activities. 

Loans can be thousands of thousands of dollars, which can quickly impact one’s mental health, especially if they are not making enough after college to pay it off. 

Carter Mosher, Student Association president and a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, said education should be free to all citizens. While I agree with that statement, it would be challenging financially.

According to Mosher, there are multiple reasons why the cost of college has increased tremendously, most relating to economic issues.

Inflation has caused expenses to increase, which leads to college tuition rising as well. There has also been a lack of regulation of tuition costs according to Best Colleges.

One of the major concerns is when college costs are not worth it.

“The college experience is not necessarily worth as much as we pay, but I think people are better off going to college,” Mosher said. “College will set you up for success compared to not attending at all.”

College allows you to grow before entering the work world.

A significant concern that follows after college is making enough money. If college costs $26,000 a year, and you are in it for four, that is $104,000 in student loans.

Graduating college can bring a lot of stress, especially if the job graduates get offered can’t pay off one’s loans.

“It depends on what people major in and how they use what they studied after graduating if they will make enough to pay off their loans,” Mosher said.

For most, college is worth the experience, knowledge and education. It provides a lot of doors that can open up a student’s future.


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