Graph depicting how many students are worried about paying for college

DT Journalism Presents News and Opinion on the stress of paying for college: 

Is College Worth The $tre$$? 

Tuition, rising: students, stressed 

By: Olivia Hoppe 

For many of us, high school is about preparing for college. As graduation nears, students face the inevitable questions: What college are you going to go to? What do you want to become? But the question we ask ourselves is, how are we going to pay for college? 

The average cost of a 4-year college degree is $25,362 according to the website, “Education Data.” We don’t have an extra $25k lying around, do you?

With college comes the stress of money. It’s not only the question of how we are going to pay it off but when? College debt can take years and years to pay off. The average student takes 20 years to pay off their student loans. The average college graduate student is in $30,000 debt by the time they graduate. What do we have to look forward to after high school? Being in debt until we’re in our 40s, apparently. 

There are multiple options for college, but we wonder if it’s worth the financial burden. One of the more popular options in our area, with Hastings College just down the road, is a private college. But the average cost of a private college is $26,788 per year including room and board. Public colleges tend to be less expensive compared to private colleges. According to the article, “What Are The Benefits Of A Public University,” because Public universities collect funds from federal and state governments, tuition is typically much more affordable than private universities. The average cost of an in-state public college is $9,349, compared to out-of-state college which can cost $27,620. Community college is a more cost-effective option that students could consider. An average cost of a 2-year college in-state is $3,372 annually is tempting, but with fewer degree options, community college may not work for everyone.

Frankly, our savings accounts are crying just thinking about the cost of college with any option, and it seems like the price rises with every passing year. In fact, college tuition is on the rise because of financial aid. If students can ask for more money, colleges are able to charge more. According to the article, “The Real Reasons Why College Tuitions Are So High And What You Can Do About It, “colleges increased tuition even more because they know financial aid can cover the difference. With this kind of setup, college students and their families are at the mercy of the federal government and colleges everywhere. Student aid may cover more of the tuition, but if the aid wasn’t available, tuition might not have gone up in the first place.” 

Sadly, college tuition is going to continue to rise, and there is not much we can do about it. This leaves many of us wondering if the traditional 4-year path is right for us, or even worth the years of debt we will surely accrue. So we will sit here, fill out countless scholarship applications and continue to ask ourselves, how are we going to pay for college?


Cost = college Prevention?

Tuition costs are making students take other routes

By: Jaden Williams

As the year progresses many seniors are starting to look into traditional 4-year colleges, but the price of tuition is causing some students to take different routes. And many current college students are choosing not to continue their education. 

The price of college tuition is forcing many students to drop out, in fact, 56% of students are bidding campus adieu and kissing all that money goodbye. According to education, the average yearly lost tuition from students dropping out is 16.5 billion dollars. It’s not just low-performing students who are leaving; 40% of dropouts have a 3.0 GPA or higher. They leave saying they are not getting their money's worth while at college. 

The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 school year is $43,775 at private colleges, $28,238 for out-of-state students at public schools, and $11,631 for state residents at public colleges, according to data reported to the U.S. News in an annual survey. Due to the overwhelming price of college tuition, about 2 in 5 college students drop out due to financial reasons.  

Tuition fees are high no matter how many years students enroll, and the cost keeps rising. According to for the 2021-22 academic year, average tuition and fees rose by 1.3% to $3,800 for students at two-year schools, 1.6% for in-state students at four-year public colleges, reaching $10,740 and 2.1% for students at four-year private institutions, to $38,070.

Worrying about paying for college can be very stressful. Due to the high amount of stress, many students decide to drop out of school. Dropping out of college is a short-term solution but a long-term problem. According to the New York Times, “a college degree is worth $365,000 [in lifetime earnings] for the average American man after subtracting all its direct and indirect costs. For women—who still tend to earn less than men—it’s worth $185,000. A college education is more profitable in the United States than in pretty much every other advanced nation.” All of those benefits are lost when financial stress causes students to abandon their education.

Many students ask themselves, why does the tuition rise each year? According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the reason it keeps rising each year is because the more money students can borrow, the more money that colleges are able to charge. Another reason for the rise of tuition is an increase in financial aid, a lack of state funding, a need for more faculty members and money to pay them.

Due to the expensive cost of college tuition, some students are deciding to not go at all. A recent survey of high school students found that the likelihood of attending a four-year school sank nearly 20% in the last eight months — down to 53%, from 71>#b###. During a survey, more than half of students said they can get a good job in 3 years of college or less, while less than 1/4 said they need 4 years to get a good job. 

The rising cost of a college education is causing many to take different routes in order to make a living. Whether it’s by dropping out or never enrolling at all, the financial strain students are facing is daunting, and this year’s seniors have a lot more to consider than just what school to attend.