The Cost of Equal Opportunity: An in Depth Look at the College Tuition Cost Epidemic

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The idea of freedom and equal opportunity that America was built on has sadly been lost and replaced with a system of quality education only being accessible by the wealthy. In-state college tuition should be free for all students meeting admission requirements, allowing students from the full spectrum of economic backgrounds to have the same opportunity to receive the same education. The incidence of poverty in the U.S. is directly linked to educational level. When a college degree is earned, income levels rise (College Board). The best use of federal government anti-poverty funds is not another welfare or assistance program; it is to make college education affordable for everyone. A high school education is no longer sufficient to succeed in America’s increasingly complex economy. However, because of the high price point of a college education, far too many Americans are unable to afford education beyond high school. As shown in the graph below, the higher level of education received greatly increases the chances for employment and also dramatically increases the average salary potential of an individual. (College Board) With more Americans falling to the lower middle class, (Curtis) action needs to be taken to ensure that young Americans are not priced out of college because the price of tuition is so high. In addition, many of our top private universities are in danger of being accessible only to those from the most affluent families. With the total price tag of a bachelor's degree from a top-tier U.S. College or university hovering around $150,000, even some of the most highly sought-after high school graduates are turning down universities like Yale and Stanford in favor of more economical options -- com... ... middle of paper ... ...ebruary, 2010. 6 May, 2012. Woodruff, Mandi. “Even a PhD Couldn't Keep This Man Off Food Stamps.” Business Insider. 9 May, 2012. 11 May, 2012. < http://finance.yahoo.com/news/even-a-phd-couldn-t-keep-this-man-off-food-stamps.html> Murray, Sara. “Numbers On Welfare See Sharp Increase.” The Wall Street Journal. 22 Jun. 2009. 20 May. 2012. Curtis, Jack. “America's Sinking Middle Class.” American Thinker. 5 Apr. 2010. 19 May. 2012. Lucas, Fred. “Obama Will Spend More on Welfare in the Next Year Than Bush Spent on Entire Iraq War, Study Reveals.” CNS News. 22 Sep. 2009. 19 May. 2012. < http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-will-spend-more-welfare-next-year-bush-spent-entire-iraq-war-study-reveals>

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