Keeping it Real: The Weight of College Expenses

Without a college degree it’s hard to succeed in this world, but not impossible.

In 2012, a good friend of mine and I started college at Southern Illinois University. She accumulated a Bursar bill totaling more than $1,000. Southern’s policy was that you cannot register for second semester if your bill is more than $1K. This bill was the remaining total after her loans paid out. She didn’t have the money. this resulted in her having to drop out after first semester so that she can pay her bill. In my opinion, this was not a beneficial way to handle this. Dropping someone from the registry in the middle of the school year because of an unpaid bill shows how much colleges care about their students education.

“Statistics show that the level of education correlates directly with the level of earnings and wealth over time . . . [while] college costs have risen much faster than the average inflation rate for decades,” according to a 2012 Forbes article, College Costs Out of Control. College is voluntary and it requires a hefty payment. In Illinois students pay $8,893 for state residents in public colleges and $22,202 for out-of-state colleges–not including room and board, according to the College Board.

Roughly 33.5 percent of United States residents have a college degree, according to the New York Times.

One solutions to this problem would be encouraging students who do receive little to no financial aid to attend earn  a two-year associate’s degree because the cost is much less than getting a four-year bachelor’s. Having an associate’s degree is better than having nothing, and still gives you earning power. Another solution that could possibly help those in need is by making scholarship opportunities more available to recent high school graduates. The scholarship process is not as clear as it should be. These solutions could possibly help students save money on college and not accumulate as many loans. These solutions could help future generations achieve higher education degrees.


By Brey’ Mong-Delane



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