“What if the cure for cancer is trapped in the mind of someone who cannot afford education?” (Unknown). As an aspiring social worker this quote had a powerful impact on me, making me stop and think about education, especially college education within the United States.
Why is it that we are still living in a society that only those who are privileged have easier access to a college education? If you have money, you are guaranteed an education at a college; if you do not have money you have three options: 1) choose not to go to college and struggle for the rest of your life; 2) work five times harder than the average college student to become an applicant; or 3) take out loans that you will be paying off for the rest of your life.
Between 2001-02 and 2011-12, in-state tuition and fees at public, four-year colleges increased at an average rate of 5.6 percent each year, according to the College Board’s 2011 report on trends in higher education pricing. Since then, public college tuition has gone up 2.9 percent and private college tuition 3.8 percent. With education costs increasing, it not only creates inequality between different classes and populations, but also puts our nation at risk when it comes to global economy.
If we are truly the land of the free and equality why am I still asking the question of when college education will stop being a privilege and become a right?