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Schools Should Focus on Education, Not Profits

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Education has always been the foundation of a civilized society. In the United States and other first world countries, all students have a right to an education no matter what their background is – or so we thought. What happens once the 12 years of free, public education end followed by a job market that pretty much requires more than 12 years of education?

In the Unites States students are expected to pursue higher education in order to get a degree for an occupation in order to be productive members of society, yet the cost of pursuing a higher education is becoming increasingly unaffordable for most students. The ways of getting into college – fees for taking SATs, ACTs, AP exams, and requesting transcripts-are also extremely expensive. Education isn’t about learning anymore-it’s about profit.

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition at private colleges in the 2016-2017 school year  was $33,480 per year. On average, public college tuition for in-state students is $9,650 and for out-of-state students it is $24,930 per year. In the early 1980s, private university tuition average about $9,000 per year while public colleges tuition was $2,930 per year. In 2017, 70 percent of college students paid for their education with student loans, and the current amount of student loan debt in total is $1.4 trillion. The average college student has $37,152 in student loan debt, and their total amount of debt increases yearly due to interest. Many students will be in massive debt for the rest of their lives because of expensive tuition and student loans.

Non American students do not have a student loan debt crisis. Countries such as Estonia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Argentina, France, Malta, Germany, Scotland, Russia, and Uruguay offer tuition-free higher education; the tuition is paid for through taxes and charitable donations. Countries with free higher education have lower unemployment rates in fields that require a degree and are widely claimed to  be farther ahead in education than countries with costly higher education.

College expenses don’t just begin when you enter college, it begins in your junior or senior year of high school. The cost of taking the SAT and ACT is around $75 each time you take the test. While some schools don’t require test scores, students are highly encouraged to take them because if they do well, they have a better chance of getting into college.The cost of sending SAT scores is $11.25 while the ACT charges range from $12-$16.50.Students who take AP courses are required to pay their school $94 per exam and to pay the College Board $85 per exam, and submitting your scores costs $15. Though not required to take AP courses, students are pushed to take them because “it looks good on college applications”. Colleges also have the audacity to ask students to pay a transcript fee of $50-$75. The American education system has become less about learning-and more about profit.

What can we do to solve this massive expense problem? If free college was possible, that would solve most of the debt crisis, yet I sadly don’t see this happening anytime soon. However, lowering tuition prices so students won’t have to take out student loans, would decrease the money crisis, and not charging students for taking exams and submitting their scores would also greatly benefit us. Students shouldn’t have to worry about being in debt the rest of their lives, or give up on pursuing higher education because they can’t afford it-we should work to change the system so education can be accessible for all.

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Schools Should Focus on Education, Not Profits