The Perpetual Rise of Prices for Colleges & Universities

Have you ever noticed the differences in education between generations from the past, and the generations of modern day? Perhaps in the amount of work, rigor, and stress put onto you by your schools? Or maybe in the importance of going to a ‘good’ college/university?

Well for your information, the prices are both tangibly and abstractly continuing to rise and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon. So, most of you must be thinking: Well, why are the prices going up in the first place? If colleges and universities really wanted to get more students into their programs, wouldn’t they want to make it less expensive so it’d be easier for any student to get into their school?

I’ll tell you some of the reasons why, based on some research I’ve had to do for my AP Language class on the United States’ modern-day standards for education: in which professionals discuss about the flaws and impending consequences of these standards on both the students and the teachers. And in conclusion, how this conveys the actions of ignorance committed by the United States government in order to benefit those who are in better situations and to attempt to not stray from the idea that education is the great equalizer; that the resulting effects from this ignorance leads to the perpetual rise of prices for colleges and universities.


Many students from a variety of different high schools are having a tougher time in getting into colleges and universities due to one thing: the increase of price for a college degree. But before I answer the questions on why it has risen in the first place, I should tell you about what had happened before – in the past – that led to its increase.

According to Valerie Strauss’ essay written on October 17th, 2013, “Public education’s biggest problem keeps getting worse”, states that although the United States claims to create an equal setting/environment for all groups of people in society that this equality does not exist. And this significantly impacts the lower classes of society, whose wages are lower then those of others born in a better environment; basically the poorer families of the United States are unable to receive the equal education the federal government claims to have for every American citizen. Strauss supports this statement by first stating the problems of the poor of America, who are the majority of the populace in the United States, and how these statistics contradict against the federal government’s belief that Education is the great equalizer; then, with further statistics found by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, states that the high percentage of students from poorer families send fewer graduates to college/university; and finally Strauss emphasizes the point that students from the poorer and lower classes of society, that if the federal government continues to put them through the same rigor and situations as those for students who are in a better environment, that the American public education system would only continue to become more flawed and problematic due to the blissful and willing ignorance towards this problem. Strauss’ purpose for this essay is to convey to the middle-class and higher-class of the American populace, that there are those who are suffering from being unable to receive the proper and equal education as those from the middle or high class; and Strauss was able to do this by presenting evidence in the form of statistics taken by well-known professional organizations that show the struggles of poorer students and the statements of the U.S. federal government that shows its ‘truth’ that education is the great equalizer. Strauss adopts a passionate and detailed yet biased tone against the U.S. federal government and towards the people of America who are in a better environment than those who are poor.

And it seems that the problem Strauss is trying to indicate isn’t similar to or related to the reason for the price of colleges/universities increasing. But in reality, due to these problems with money and with the ability of education being the great equalizer, would only lead the American public education system to get further problematic and flawed due to the fluctuations of the national economy. Also due to the change of actions to fulfill the majority of the populace’s desires, the prices for colleges and universities grew: an increase that no longer affects only the poorer families or those from the lower classes of society, but also those in the middle-class who make higher wages.

Jeffery J. Selingo, in his essay written on January 22nd, 2016 from the Washington Post, “Why the Price Tag of a College Degree Continues to Rise”, argues that in modern day there are numerous groups of talented students from various lesser backgrounds, and that these students will not be able to attend the colleges and universities they desire to go to due to the rise of prices from extracurricular activities and programs created by the desired university or college and from universities and colleges not acting on their duty in paying the funds of these struggling students. Selling supports this statement by first stating the recent events involving education and the problems that come along with it, such as tenured professors and the surge of college prices; then, with the analytical results from the Delta Cost Project, creates a foundation for his analysis on the reasons for the increase in college prices; and finally states a summary of both his evidence and his analysis to convey the idea that the United States government needs to significantly change the prices for colleges and universities, otherwise they will only continue to rise.  Selingo’s purpose is to reveal the gradual increase in college and university prices so that the general American public can fathom the likelihood of the said prices raising to the point where the general people could not afford them. He adopts an analytical yet passionate tone for the American general public, especially those who are ambitious and strive for more in their lives.

Therefore, the reasons for the continual rise of prices for colleges and universities was due to the ignorance from both the federal government and from the majority of the populace, and these problems would only be solved or at least diminished if more people decided to look at them and strive to change for the better. To have an influence on the amelioration of the United States in its education and in its people. So that the statement the United States government favors so much: Education is the great equalizer, will become true.

And finally we have come to an end. Did you come to agree with what I said? Did you have any different thoughts/opinions about the topic? Or did you not get it at all?

What do you think?


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