Student debt and college cost: high-yield American fraud

Nathan Jackson, Assistant Opinion Editor

“My dream, for as long as I can remember, has been to a private college and the University of Portland checks all the boxes for me. Good education program, good community, and most importantly it’s in a big city. However, with a sticker price of $62,200 per year, it’s unrealistic that I would ever go there. In a middle-class family with only one working parent and a younger brother who wants to go to law school, the dream of going to a private college is slowly fading away.”
Emily Bassett, like many other Patriots, feels the monetary pressures of college even before attending. And yet despite these pressures, Emily still wants to attend.
To help get through college, Emily plans on taking out $20,000 in student loans to help get her English degree. While a great idea, this means Emily will be in debt when she exits college, by quite a bit. $20,000 in debt at 23, which isn’t part of anyone’s post-college plans. And Emily isn’t alone. Collectively, Americans owe $1.5 trillion in debt. And that number keeps rising.
Whenever people bring up how college is expensive, their claims are usually refuted with ideas of attending a trade school instead of college, or perhaps attending a community college for a few years then switching to a state college. While good ideas, many professions and degrees can’t be obtained from trade schools, and quality of education between community and state or private college can be massive. Emily wants to major in English, and Portland (a private college) can give her a quality education to attain that major.
Everyone wants a quality education. In fact, most people need a quality education to help the get a job in their desired career path. So forcing students to hand over on average $39,529 a year is criminal. Other countries have been able to offer world-class education for a fraction of the American cost, so why can’t we seem to figure it out?
Emily, and millions of other students our age, are prepared to hand over tens of thousands of dollars a year just to help them along a career path. Why should students go broke doing something that’s essentially part of life?
Should you not go to college because of costs? No. Right now, college is such an integral part of a student’s education that not going can be detrimental depending on your career path. But the knowledge of college costs should factor into your decision of where to go to college so you can avoid the crippling costs of student debt.