Inventing arguments final


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Inventing arguments final

  1. 1. Kristen Sell<br />Prof. DiSarro<br />ENG 103<br />November 2010<br />Higher Education, Lower Prices<br />Many experts believe that federal and institution aid along with inflation and tax benefits lessen the blow of paying for higher education (Awan paragraph 2.) As a struggling student, I disagree. Public four-year universities raised in-state tuition and fees by eight percent this year, putting in-state tuition, including room and board, at $16,140 (Awan paragraph 2.) While forms of aid do exist to help many students, some of us are being overlooked. I am a 22-year-old freshman, and, as a freshman, I receive the lowest amount of student loan available, so low an amount, it does not even cover my tuition. As a 22-year-old adult, I live on my own (off campus). This requires me to have a job to help me barely pay my rent and bills along with textbooks and extra costs which my financial aid does not cover. I am also somehow expected to find time to study and do well in my classes. While I am an adult, I am not 24-years-old, so I must still consider myself to be dependent. This means that, although I support myself, my parent’s income, instead of my own, is still the deciding factor in whether or not I receive any aid or grants. Because my parents are not poor and they have good credit, there are no grants made available to me. This means that I have to ask my parents to take out part of the federal loan that is available to them (an embarrassing and highly unwanted task for an independent adult) just so I can scrape by. So the experts may say that the overall cost of paying for college has lessened, but, from where I’m standing, the price of higher education should be greatly decreased, if not made free.<br />As a nation our percentage of college educated persons is well below that of many other countries, surely that number is influenced by how terrifyingly expensive receiving higher education can be (Sanchez paragraph 1.) In many countries education is free all the way through college, including Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Greece. In Sweden, Finland, and Norway, college education is universally free, even for those of us who are not citizens of those countries. As if that is not enough, they offer a stipend for students to pay for room and board (Free Education paragraph 1.) Since February 2010, President Obama has been pushing student aid changes that some claim will help pass a bill making student loans more affordable by wiping away all loan debt, if the student pays on time for ten years, which was previously only available to civil servants (Kadis paragraph 1,3.) I consider that a step in the right direction and, probably, the stepping stone in the direction needed to make college more affordable. On the other hand, stopping the disproportionate inflation of tuition is extremely important, and, without some sort of change, the inflation of tuition could cause the average tuition of public universities to be over $71,000 a year by 2020 (College Costs paragraph 1.)<br />Student loans for students under 24 years of age are available with the backing of their parents, but only if the student’s parents do not make too much money. In the United States, for most careers, a person is supposed to graduate high school and she or he is then encouraged (and in many cases, required) to have postsecondary schooling of some sort, whether it be a college or trade school education, and their parents are expected to pay for it. Let’s have a look at the numbers associated with sending a child to college. The average household has 2 children, and the per capita income of the United States is $21,587 (U.S. Census Bureau). With the average cost of college at $16,140 a year (Awan paragraph 2), per child, I ask, how is higher education possible for the average family to afford? That is where loans, grants, and scholarships come into play. However, loans, grants, and scholarships are not available to everyone; there are always stipulations and limits when dealing with money, but, in the end, students lose out.<br /> Financial aid is available for students in many forms, but not everyone can receive aid and, for federal assistance, the decision on who is eligible for the loans and grants is always left up to the federal government. Every year students are required to fill out their FAFSA and apply for financial aid, and, for many of us, there is no way to tell how much will be received, until we are notified. <br />The oldest universities date back to 6th century B.C.E. (The Harvard Guide paragraph 1.) The oldest university in America is Harvard University, generally used in college statistics, for that reason. According to PBS the cost of attendance in 1900 was only $3,000 constant dollars (Wattenberg chart), and in 2008 was over $22,000. Obviously, Harvard has grown in prestige, as well as size, justifying some of that increase. However, universities are businesses, and in capitalist America that means constant growth. In order to fuel that growth, tuitions are raised at every university, every single year. From 1980 all the way to 2008, inflation rose around (2%), and in 2009 the rate of inflation actually declined. Alternatively, the cost of tuition at universities in the United States increased at an average of over (8%) and shows no signs of stopping, ever. According to these statistics, one can assume (and probably fear) that one day in the future college tuition in the United States will spin so far out of control that only the richest (and poorest?) will be able to afford secondary schooling, which will, invariably, cause even more of our dwindling population of highly educated Americans to look for work elsewhere, leaving us in the dust (Sanchez paragraph 3.)<br />Access to knowledge in the United States and other developed countries is only one click away; anything and everything can be learned on the internet in a matter of seconds, but that has not stopped Americans from valuing education. The only thing standing in the way of a more educated public is money. As our economy becomes more recessed, people are headed back to colleges and universities in droves, anything to get a leg up in today’s smaller and more highly competitive job market.<br />In order to keep our country afloat, academically, as well as relieve a multitude of unnecessary stressors from our students, I believe the numbers need to be adjusted somewhere along the line. The day should have never come when Americans had to start seeking more affordable education outside of their own country. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the land of ridiculously unaffordable, out of the common man’s reach, you’re lucky if you get there chance. Our government needs to, for once, notice that other countries seem to have it better figured out than we do. We, not only, need to take notice but we need to take note and begin to fashion our own faulty education system after one that is actually working.<br />Works Cited<br />Awan, Omer. "Report Examines College Tuitions." The Harvard Crimson [Cambridge, MA] 2 Nov. 2010: n. pag. Web. 9 Dec. 2010. <>.<br />"College Costs To Double By 2020; Start Saving Now And Consider Black Institutions." BNet. CBS, 4 Dec. 2000. Web. 9 Dec. 2010.  <>.<br />"Free Education." Wikipedia. N.p., 9 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.  <>.<br />"Harvard College Tuition." Chart. PBS. 2000. The First Measured Century. By Ben Wattenberg. 63. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <>.<br />The Harvard Guide. Harvard University, 2010. Web. 9 Dec. 2010.  <>.<br />Kadis, Alex. "Obama Proposes Student Loan Plan." The Brown and White [Bethlehem, PA] 5 Feb. 2010: n. pag. Web. 9 Dec. 2010.  <>.<br />Sanchez, Claudio. "U.S Trails Other Countries in College Graduates." GPB News. N.p., 23 July 2010. Web. 9 Dec. 2010. <>.<br />"USA." State and Country Quickfacts. U.S Census Bureau, 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 9 Dec. 2010.<br />