The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial – Education shouldn’t be far-fetched goal

Education is one of the greatest freedoms afforded to citizens of any country. And though it’s easy to take for granted all the benefits of going to school, it’s slowly becoming a distant dream for those wishing to obtain something higher than a high school diploma.

The government should take note of how many young adults struggle with going to college after high school and completing on-time.

Higher education has become more of a dream than an entitlement for both young adults and those wishing to return to continue their education. With lofty prices and pesky fees for this, that and the other thing, this doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of books, course materials and the bare essentials needed like school supplies or toiletries.

There’s no surprise that this nickel-and-diming leads to $1.08 trillion of student debt as reported by BBC News. This amount surpasses both auto and credit card borrowing.

Making higher education unattainable and unaffordable is an ineffective plan and makes the one thing America has touted proudly for decades impossible: the American Dream.

If someone’s lucky enough to garner enough scholarships, grants and/or student loans, graduates are still faced with the cold reality that they are strapped to their debt for years to come.

Finding a job isn’t the only stress mounted on them either. They must find a job that would pay enough to cover rent, bills and groceries while still leaving enough for them to make monthly payments to the firm that holds their loan.

And this is what young adults face if they end up having to drop out or take breaks? Some view it as a lucky break.

Politics have done a good job making the education issue seem like a complicated and complex beast that should never be stirred or worked on to change. But fortunately, there are examples for them to follow.

Illustration by Suzann Clay/The Collegian
Illustration by Suzann Clay/The Collegian

Just recently in Germany, universities abolished semester fees. Students were already attending college without having to pay for tuition, only paying a measly $600 semester fee.

According to a CBS article, Hamburg politician Dorothee Stapelfeldt called the $600 semester fee “unjust” and discouraged nontraditional families with university-aged children from attending.

It’s almost impossible not to laugh and think what Stapelfeldt would say if she saw $30,000 tuition for higher education.

In the United Kingdom, depending on the school, universities charge a maximum of £9,000 ($14,000) a year, but some universities offer tuition fees of £6,000 ($9,700) per year, according to TopUniversities.

The government on this side of the pond could take some notes and cues from other countries, especially Germany.

Germany’s citizens may pay 10 percent more than U.S. citizens in taxes. It couldn’t hurt to be creative in coming up with a different way to fund education.

Higher education shouldn’t be some pie-in-the-sky goal that people fail to reach. And it also shouldn’t be something that people force themselves into serious debt, jeopardizing their future financial security. The financial repercussions of being $30,000 or more in debt are more far-reaching than people think.

The BBC News story followed a high school teacher who couldn’t buy a new home for his wife and newborn son because he had accrued too much debt.

Even though education is a great reflection of the many freedoms this country has to offer, it’s hard to deny that it’s starting to look like a burden to those lucky enough to experience it and simply a dream for others.

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