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The Rising Cost of College

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The Rising Cost of College

Anyone coming close to being in college or is already in college knows about the rising cost of classes. The average annual increase in college tuition from 1980-2014 grew by nearly 260% compared to the nearly 120% increase in all consumer items. In 1980, the average cost of tuition, room and board, and fees at a four-year post-secondary institution was $9,438, according to the Department of Education. Researchers who study the question of the rapidly rising financial burden of American higher education say it's important to understand that very different forces are driving the cost of delivering that education and the price students and their families have to pay.

More and more places are starting to offer free college tuition, including 7 states and one city (San Francisco). Offering free tuition has some people up in arms. Some pros to free college include more lower-income students might reach graduation, student debt will no longer crush the younger generations, etc. Some cons include the fact that the money has to come from somewhere; such as higher taxes, college might not seem as important, etc. Free college can be a good thing for struggling students, but also has the potential to ruin the economy.

Take New York for example, Tuition-free college just became a reality there in mid 2017. Though other places have free community college, New York is the first to make tuition free at four-year public colleges as well. Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the tuition-free legislation in January and lawmakers approved the plan in June. Many people wonder where the money is going to come from. The state will increase spending on higher education to cover the cost of the program, meaning that taxes in New York could potentially go up. The governor's office said it expects it to cost $163 million in the first year, before it's fully phased in.

The debate on whether or not college should be free is still going on, and people are still very divided on the topic. Though some places are starting to do it, having the entire nation on board is still far away from becoming a reality. With all the pros and cons to the topic, it makes it very hard to choose a side. Opinions may change with the growing economy, but it is still uncertain what is to come.

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