OSWEGO, N.Y- Due to the increase in college tuition, more and more younger students are advising against attending college.
Struggling to pay for college or worrying about how they are going to pay has put a huge strain on students wanting to attend. Having a financial burden isn’t easy on students who don’t have a lot of money to spend.
Jordan Taylor Robinson, who is currently taking a gap year to catch up on her bill from her school, Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, has been struggling.
“I never thought that I would be the one to take a gap year. I mean love going to school but the money is such a big issue I couldn’t even focus on my studies,” she said.
The average cost of college tuition in the U.S. for undergraduate students has more than tripled, multiplying by 3.15 times over the last 58 years, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It rose from $4,336 in 1963 to $13,777 in 2023.
“How do colleges actually expect us to pay our bills per semester? Money doesn’t grow on trees and if even if it did I’m sure it still wouldn’t be enough,” Robinson said.
According to the NCES, the overall college enrollment rate for 18 to 24 year olds decreased from 41% to 38% in 2022. Tuition, room, and board, along with textbooks and other related expenses, have reached levels that are often unaffordable for many prospective students and their families.
The long-term consequences of attending college is also a huge factor when deciding whether college is the right choice. Having to take out loans and fill out financial aid is something that isn’t easy.
Sakiyah Winston is currently a senior at Achievement First Brooklyn High School and has decided to not attend college.
“After doing some research and talking to people I know that are in college I really found out it ain’t worth it at all. To be stressing over having to pay for college seems like something I can live without,” said Winston.
More and more high school students are learning that college isn’t really how they it is in the movies. This financial burden is a huge factor that many who are already in college didn’t have the luxury of thinking about.
“If someone told me that the financial part of college is something you have to constantly worry about I would have opted out a long time ago,” said Robinson.
Everyone knows the time of year during your senior year of high school when you have to start thinking about your future- either college or something else. Nine times out of 10 the immediate thought is to just go to college, get your degree, and figure out later what you want your life to look like.
“I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life but I know for a fact college isn’t the path I want to take. I mean all that does go to college good for them but that isn’t gonna be me,” said Winston.
Winston gets good grades and is an upstanding student and could very much get into college, but she feels that good grades can only get you so far going to college. There is so much more which can be a scary thought considering this big transition from high school to college.
There is also another factor that the people going to college aren’t exactly all college-aged people. According to a study done by Full Research, over 75% of all adults who are thinking about going back to school worry about taking out student loans to pay for it. Along those lines, 70% in general are worried about the overall cost of college and think that they may not be able to afford it.
“I remember I had an older woman in one of my classes during a group project and to my surprise she was really helpful and knew a lot about what the project was about ,” said Robinson.
College may be the best path for some students and some adults but there are many factors that need to be considered before making such a decision.