Sunday, September 2, 2012

College Costs Rising

The costs for attending college are increasing.  According to the Washington Post, "tuitions and fees for four-year public colleges grew by 72 percent above inflation over the past decade, averaging $8,244 last year, according to the College Board, which represents more than 6,000 schools. Student loan debt in the U.S. has hit $914 billion; the average borrower owes more than $24,000, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says."

Not surprisingly, this topic is an issue in this year's presidential race.  Both Romney and Obama are trying to court young voters with their policy positions on curbing college costs.  There is no doubt that Obama has an advantage over Romney with young voters:  "In 2008, voters age 18 to 24 sided with Obama over GOP candidate John McCain by a 66-32 margin. A Gallup poll taken in July and August found that same age group preferring Obama over Romney by 56 percent to 36 percent, an edge that Republicans would love to erode further."

 Here is a site that compares the candidate's position on education.

With that said, what role should the government play in regulating escalating education costs?  (Think of chapter two and the concepts of tradition, command, and market economic systems.)  Would costs be reduced if all government subsidies were removed and a more "free market" approach were instituted?  Or should Pell Grants be extended as proposed by President Obama?  Since "private" colleges like Carrington College and Heald are very expensive, would turning colleges into a more free market system increase costs more or would competition bring the costs down?  Privatizing colleges would reduce costs for the taxpayer since colelges would not get public dollars anymore.

What is your solution for the increasing college costs?


  1. According to the law of supply, the higher the price of a good, the greater the quantity supplied. This means that if the demands of college/ university tuitions are high and the schools themselves are trying to meet that demand, the prices are sure to rise higher than before. What I believe the government should do is to propose a tax where people of the nation can pay a very small amount of that tax, for example a few cents a month, then, theoretically, universities around the nation would be able to receive tens of millions of dollars will be “donated” to the universities, and thus helping students to pay less for their tuitions and more on what they need to survive while taking time to be in college. Will this work? I doubt it because it may take more than a few cents a month to help tens of thousands of colleges in the nation lower their tuition fees. But my point is that if everyone in the nation could help by giving some pocket change to help those who are poor, yet talented students, I believe that the rising tuition fees will no longer be a national issue.

    -Cristian Villanueva

  2. I believe that the government should absolutely maintain a position of regulating because it'd get to out of control if anyone could decide what would happen to colleges. They'd lose their long built reputations and competitiveness of colleges means only the best get in. If they were cheaper less serious students would get accepted. But i think they're should be more help for those who are accepted into the competitive world of college. They shouldn't be punished or turned away due to payment even though they deserve to be there. Its all a delicate balance.

    -Maria bray

  3. I believe that the government should be involved and mark a limit.Now a days it is so hard to get a job if collage keep on getting more expensive only a small percent of the high school graduate will go on to be professional;and then we conplane that America is getting dumber. Or that job are taken by people from other countries if the students cant afford collage how i the American economy get better??

    ezri loy

  4. The government should get involved and look into what is making the cost go higher and higher. Look back a few years ago and the prices for college was significantly different then they are now. What has made it go up? Many factors could cause the prices to go up. More and more students could be enrolled at that school so more professors may be needed. Books could be the latest edition. The dorms could be bigger then most, students could be buying more in the cafeteria. Any of these factors could cause prices to go up. Another reason is the school could be upgrading or expanding and may be charging it's students money for it since they go there. So much can affect the prices of college. But what can we do to actually try and lower the tuition. Well each year students enrolled in Universities or community colleges should receive a tax refund of $1,ooo or so dollars to go for schooling. It may not be much but $1,000 is $1,000.

  5. Honestly, much of what was said in those articles you linked confused me. I'm not sure that I can accurately answer your questions, but I can try.
    I believe that the government should step in and regulate schools. They should try to bring down the price of going to college as well as provide money for scholarships and grants. I agree with the statements Mariah made that cheaper education would lead to lower quality students, but I do believe that tuition these days it getting out of hand. If I can get enrolled in school and can pay my way through med school, I will be buried under student loans for years. Education should be cheaper, but not to the extent that students can't find a way to pay for it.
    In the end of everything, I think our college system is fairly efficient, albeit expensive. To decrease the costs of tuition, we would have to reduce the quality of education. We can't have high quality education for a cheap price. But, I think we should have all varieties of quality levels. That way, all the people can go to college.
    I'm merely an uneducated teen with no idea how to run an economy. I think, if you asked this question of me in a month or so, I would give a better answer. But, sadly, this is the best I can manage now.

  6. I believe that, like in a mixed market economy, the government should step in, but not take over. I think what the government should do to help the rising costs of college tuition is similar to what they do with minimum wage. All public colleges should have a limit on how high their tuition can be, then the schools can compete to get students enrolled within that price range. Another thing the gov't can do is create more financial aid programs for the students that are not under the poverty line, but are not wealthy either.

  7. I think the government should have a price ceiling for the costs of college. If subsidies were reduced, I don’t think costs would be reduced.

    There is a demand to go to college because jobs in the future will require more than just a high school diploma. Grants are helpful and sometimes brilliant individuals are those who come from humble beginnings.

    The costs for college will continue to soar. I think the government needs to find a way to give education more of an importance by helping students with the costs.
    -Mariah Franco

  8. I believe The government should be involved a little bit? It's hard to say because the government is involved with so much already. I don't think schooling should be so expensive when it's so important for people to have an education now a days. Hopefully with what ever th election brings us that this problem will be fixed or brought down.

  9. I believe that the government should regulate the college price and enrollment- but not entirely. If college prices go down, students would have no competition. Alot of the reason some students do not follow through with college or try in highschool is because they will never be able to afford it anyway. But if the prices were lowered, many people would start trying harder. This could result in alot of people getting higher paying jobs or careers. But we also need our balance. With today's opportunities like Grants, financial aid, and scholarships, students can work hard and get rewarded. If those were taken away, we would have alot of people who do not get any type of higher education. But, if the tuition was lowered, alot of students who do not take education seriously would be accepted. Those kind of students would be a huge distraction to others and eventually over time, our college competition and requirements would die down. I do believe that there should be more possiblities available to students who strive for perfection but seem to fall short. However, with today's economy, Grants, fanancial aid, and scholarships are a huge help to stuggling students who have the potential to go onto college. I dont believe that someone should have to suffer due to their lack of money.
    Danielle Hazlett

  10. I believe that the government should at least look into and see why prices are going so high. And once they realize that there is no need for them to be that high to make an effort to try and make the prices as low as possible. Our nation has trouble getting people motivated to further educate themselves in many places, and raising the price to do so doesn't help. We don't need a country full of ether uneducated individuals or even educated individuals who have to continue to struggle in their life to pay for the education they received.
    -Elisa Flores


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