The Truth about a College Education!
By: Brandon Gothberg
Many of us dream of success, and in those dreams we create our own perspective of it. How does one reach that mental image of success? Through hours of diligent labor that leaves a person exhausted. Today, college has become a major piece of the puzzle we call a successful life. With the secret out, high school graduates prepare to ship off to college, towards a bright future. Is another secret cowering in the shadows? That secret would be the price of obtaining a college degree. It’s a widely known fact that college tuition is a hefty burden, but is it in excess amount? Despite differences in race, politics, genders, or even age, there is an agreement that the price of college has become an issue. With college needed to succeed, it seems a little absurd that the price could be so high. One person bringing the issue to the frontlines is John Stossel in his “No They Can’t” program. Stossel provides many scary figures, but one of the most shocking was the fact that the tuition from 1980 to 2009 has increased by a breath taking seven hundred percent! The reasoning for this gigantic leap in cost is ,sparingly, Federal Aid. According to Stossel, colleges have increased their tuition based off their greed of free federal handouts, resulting in the opposite intentions. Every fire begins with a spark, and that spark for tuition increase is based in the past. Believe it or not, the issue of college tuition being a crushing stress factor is old news. Floating in the air is a theory titled, the Bennett Hypothesis. This hypothesis was first created by Ronald Regan’s secretary of education, William Bennett. Bennett posted this comment in the New York Times, “Generous student-aid policies had enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsides would help cushion the increase.” The thinking of this theory is that schools know students have access to tens of billions of dollars in grants and loans, and that colleges raise tuition because they know that the federal aid is there. Since Bennett presented his theory, there have been many tests, debates, and even arguments over the standings of this claim. One of those studies on the Bennett theory was performed by economists at Harvard and George Washington University. In this study they decided to fish around in a new area, for-profit colleges. Thing about for-profit colleges is that they can choose whether or not to accept federal aid. Over 2,650 schools were looked at for multiple years and a stunning conclusion was reached. For-profit colleges that accepted federal aid had roughly a 75% higher tuition than the for-profit colleges that went without. The reason why these schools get away with such a high tuition is by telling the gawking parents or students not to worry, federal aid means that the true cost of the college will be much lower. With colleges making such sneaky tricks, the purpose of federal aid is devastated and actually is making college more unaffordable! With studies like this popping up, it’s no surprise that the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys made a statement expressing their fear that student loans could be the next “debt bomb” to hit America. An economist at the free-market Center for College Affordability and Productivity by the name of Andrew Gillen created a report called “Bennett Hypothesis 2.0.” Gillen argued that to prevent further escalation of tuition, federal student aid has to be limited to only those who need it, and only at the dollar amount they need. Today, it seems as if federal aid is the only solution to make it through college, but are there other answers? The country is filled with stories of students who made it through college without the assistance of federal aid. One of those tricks is gaining scholarships for multiple