High Costs of College Tuition Requires The United States to Fund for Programs to Help Put College in Reach for All Americans

The high costs of college tuition are keeping many American students from attending a university.  The Government may need to fund for financial aid programs to help make college more affordable.


            Over the past 30 years, college tuition fees have risen tremendously.  With such high competition in the job market, a college degree is vital to getting a successful high paying job.  It seems that is has come to a point that it is almost impossible to be successful in the job market without a college degree.  For this reason, people are seeking college degrees more than ever.  But getting to college isn’t always easy.  Sometimes good grades and high-test scores are not enough to get a high school graduate to college.  This problem has spurred a large issue in the government today and especially during Barack Obama’s term in office.  Should the government raise taxes for the upper class to help fund for financial aid programs so that college can be more affordable for all Americans?  This debate is a large topic throughout The United States and the current office is working to hard to make it a reality.  The government should raise taxes for the upper class to help fund for financial aid programs so that college can be more affordable for all Americans.

            College, as most people know, has been around for a long time and has been becoming more and more important for success as the years go on.  The first institution of higher learning was Harvard, in 1636.  At that time college was less popular and less expensive, but the first financial aid for higher education came soon after 1636.  In 1643 Ann Radcliffe established the first scholarship ever given for higher education.  This scholarship was given at Harvard as well.  More recently, financial aid has become more popular due to increases in college tuition.  In 1972, the Federal Pell Grant Program was established.  Pell Grants do not need to be paid back.  Even more recently, in 2009, Barack Obama proposed the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which has recently become widely used.  The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a partially refundable tax credit that helps make college more affordable for most Americans. 

            But now, people begin to ask themselves if we should fund for programs like The American Opportunity Tax Credit, and Federal Pell Grants.  In order to fund for financial aid programs like The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Pell Grants we would have to increase taxes for the upper class.  Many people in lower class families would reap the benefit if we were to fund for these programs.  The debate comes in when we have to raise taxes to fund for these programs.  Many people are not willing to increase the already somewhat high taxes to help to fund for financial aid programs.  Most people in support of Barack Obama are willing to help fund, but much of The United States population is not willing. 

People like Adam Vinton, benefit from financial aid programs that we fund through increased taxation.  Adam Vinton uses Pell Grants and uses the American Opportunity Tax Credit to help pay for his education at The University of Oregon.  Cameron Smith, another student at The University of Oregon also uses The American Opportunity Tax Credit.  These students are directly affected by the funding of these financial aid programs.  After conversing with these students it further led me to believe that we should fund for financial aid programs like these. The University of Oregon Financial Aid and Scholarship Office deals with students at the University of Oregon who use financial aid or scholarships just like Adam and Cameron.  After speaking with Donna Schimmer, a financial aid counselor in that office, she feels that it is well worth it to fund for national financial aid programs.  She says the benefits would be much greater than the detriments.  With more educated students comes more quality and efficient businesses that will help spur the economy and trade worldwide.  Because of this, I feel that funding for financial aid programs is well worth it.

There are also citizens from other countries who wish to come to The United States to go to college.  These students from other countries can help our country with qualities such as being bilingual.  A Burmese student got a scholarship to help her come to the United States to go to college.  She hopes to work in Journalism or Political Science.  These financial aids allowed her to come to the United States and hopefully help our country in a future job.  This shows how this issue can affect not only The United States, but it can affect other countries around the globe.

            Barack Obama is working hard on making these programs significantly more productive.  As shown on Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s website, it shows what their plans are on helping to make college more affordable for all Americans.  This website also shows raw facts about college as well.  It shows how the costs of college tuition have risen dramatically and how most college graduates leave in debt.  His website shows his overall plan and his goals he is working on accomplishing. 

            The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also speaks about this issue.  An article on this website talks about the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  This act contains a measure to enlarge the “Hope Credit”.  This Hope Credit provides a tax subsidy for college tuition, but the problem was that many Americans didn’t meet the standards for that credit.  This new Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is working to make those in lower classes who don’t make the standards eligible for the program. 

            The counter argument against funding for financial aid programs is that many feel that even if we fund for the programs, that they will not work anyways.  As demonstrated in an article in The Heritage Foundation, there are studies that show that $173 billion in subsidies still might not solve the situation.  The Heritage Foundation says that, instead, we must lower costs and improve efficiency.  This opposing argument shows the debate in this issue. 

             Websites like EDU in Review and College Board, give helpful hints to college seekers on how to go about planning for college and how to stay in college.  These websites can direct students to places to go when they are looking for financial aid.  There are also other journalistic sources like CNN that inform the pubic about updates and progresses made in financial aid programs.  Websites like these are crucial because they inform students about important things that can take help take away from the stresses of high costs of college tuition. 

            It is tough to show evidence of this issue being resolved already because Barack Obama has been in office for such a short period of time.  President Obama is currently putting in a large effort for change in this issue, but not even a full school year has passed since he has been in office.  I feel that this topic will progress with time while he is in office.  It is yet to show much sign of success but the way he is going about fixing this problem of high costs of college tuition seems to be achievable and likely.


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