Students Cannot Afford American Dream

Katy Lamb, Guest Writer

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           With rising tuitions, students must undertake more loans, therefore sentencing themselves to a lifelong struggle of paying off their debt. Wages for college graduates are simply no match for the unprecedented rise in tuition. While the total cost is nearly seven times higher than it was 30 years ago, wages for graduates “have risen by less than $1” (College). How are these students supposed to be able to afford the American Dream: buying a car, buying a house, starting a family?  Graduates, distracted and ruled by their debt, aren’t given the chance to experiment with their education and interests to find their ideal career: they are instead forced into a stable—undesired—job. Even with a stable job, graduates are paying off their debt into their later years. In 2017, people over the age of 60 were still paying off an average of $85.4 a year (Friedman). Most people finish their education in their twenties. That is 40 years of money that they, instead of saving, had to put towards paying off their loans. Graduates are shackled to their loans; they don’t have the monetary freedom to live their life how they envisioned. I, as a twin, am already worrying about how—or if—I’m going to be able to afford the education necessary for whichever career path I choose. My parents are breathing down my neck, urging me to apply to every possible scholarship. I’m drowning under the constant stress—I’m not even in college yet! It’s ridiculous! If colleges continue charging high tuition, the only thing that will stick with their graduates after graduation is debt.