High tuition costs affect students’ college decisions

March 29, 2023


Melissa Vital

As college tuition increases, students rely largely on financial aid resources.

According to Forbes 2023, the average federal student loan debt in the United States is roughly $37,574. The total student loan debt in the United States is $1.75 trillion as of early 2023. 55% of students from public institutions took on student loans. 57% of students from private institutions took on student loans. 

College tuition in the United States has consistently risen over the past 30 years, having grown at a faster rate than federal debt. Furthermore, the United States ranks as one of the top countries with the highest private and public average annual tuition fees. So it comes as no surprise that students in America are drowning not only in financial debt but constant stress and worries as well. 

To many students, the burden of the high tuition cost of universities across the nation factor into their college decisions and lifestyles. 

“Tuition affects me because it is an important indicator when choosing a college. If a school does not give me enough scholarship, I would reconsider my decision,” said Youjin Park, a current freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Many students have experienced the same struggle. It has come to the point where financial aid and scholarships are their sole solution to the hardships of college expenses. As the idea of loan debt may load a great weight on students and create concerns for the future, many students are forced to give up their dream and preferred schools due to their financial situations that limit their freedom of choice of education. Financial aid through government programs like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or simply school scholarships lift a bit of this pressure and can change the student’s educational path. 

For Yena Son, a current freshman at Northwestern University, scholarships have guided her not only in her decision to further advance her studies at the college but have also assisted her in transitioning into college easily. 

“I received a small scholarship from Northwestern [University] to help me find my flights for break, textbooks, a new laptop, etc. to help me get settled in at the beginning of the year,” said Son.

In all, this assistance impacts students to create a more affordable, stress-free college experience. As it prevents students from sacrificing their goals or the struggle following their admission, financial aid holds a key role in education in the United States. 

“It helps me to fully focus on my studies and I don’t have to worry about paying for student debt after graduation,” said Park.

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