As the cost of a college education continues to climb as high as a typical home mortgage, options for paying for it seem to be diminishing.
When I first attended the local junior college in 1969, tuition cost me $45 for a full semester. Two years later I attended the state’s largest university and tuition cost me $190 for 12 or more semester hours of credit. By the time I graduated, tuition had risen to $245 for 12 or more hours. Today, that won’t even pay the tuition for a 3 hour course.
I didn’t have a scholarship and my parents were not wealthy. I had to pay my own way through school. I worked and went to school full time. I got married while in college and as much as I wanted to pursue a master’s degree, I could not afford it and take care of my family at the same time, so upon graduating, I was forced to give up my educational dreams at that time.
The skyrocketing costs of tuition have made it more and more difficult for students to work and pay their own way through college. If their parents are not rich enough to pay for their schooling, they are left with no other choice than to take out a student loan.
And according to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, this is part of the problem with the system. He feels that the federal student loan programs have been partially responsible for the higher cost of a college education.
Paul appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press where he talked about the federal student loan programs and how it is a failure. He went on to say that when he becomes president, he intends to eliminate the federal student loan programs. He believes that will help to decrease the amount of personal debt and hopefully increase the quality of education available.
Ron Paul points out that he also worked his way through college and medical school. But today the schools he attended cost $42,610 and $46,621 per academic year. These costs make it virtually impossible for a student to work and pay their way through school.
As a result, students have no alternative but to take out loans through the federal programs. Consequently, students have now amassed $1 trillion of debt in student loans. Worse yet Paul points out, is that after a student racks up thousands of dollars in student loans, they face an extremely bleak job market upon graduation. The prospect of them finding a job in their career field that will pay them a descent salary and help them to pay back the student loan is depressing to say the least.
Others disagree and believe doing away with student loans will only make things worse. They say this will keep thousands of young people from being able to attend college. It may also result in the financial demise of many colleges.
This is sure to be a controversial topic in the presidential campaigns and future debates.