College Admissions Scandals are a Symptom, not the Problem

Patrick Kissel, Reporter

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Numerous celebrities have been indicted, and some have pled guilty, in a college admissions scandal in which it is alleged they cheated and bribed in order to get their child into their college of choice. This is heinous, as it takes spots in colleges away from students who would actually have deserved those spots, forcing those students to attempt to get into a less preferable school, and one that is likely not as good as the college they would otherwise have gotten into. In a larger sense though, this is emblematic of a larger problem facing American students, the price of college.

The average tuition in American colleges has jumped by 168% in the past 20 years, according to U.S. News. Out of state tuition fees at public colleges and universities have jumped 200 percent in the past 20 years, and public colleges and universities in state tuition has also seen substantial growth, more than the previous two categories, rising 243%. The tuition at college has quickly outpaced inflation, and according to collegeboard.org, it can now cost an average of $35,830 in tuition for just one year. This is far too expensive, and for many families in an America with an already shrinking middle class, completely unaffordable.

With these high costs, higher education is no longer something accessible to many on the poorer side in America. Information is monopolized, as is students’ success. At these colleges and universities, students are supposed to be able to get an education that will help them get jobs and be successful in one diverse field, but with the rapidly increasing costs, the ability for these students to get access to such educations is rapidly decreasing. For students who do go to college, they are often saddled with debt that they will be paying back 20 years later, and will not be able to take economic risks simply because they cannot risk not paying down the loan for even one period, or they risk the interest spiraling out of control.

This is why the United States should switch to a college for all system, with public universities being tuition free and their upkeep being managed by a small increase in income tax, capital gains tax and other taxes as necessary. This would alleviate the problem of students not being able to afford a higher education, and therefore always being on the lower foot during life in general. It is something America needs in order to not continue to fall behind the rest of the world in education: America needs to stop monopolizing it so that only the rich are able to afford higher education without going into crippling debt.

College admissions scandals are simply a symptom of the problem that has been created by the rising costs in education, and that’s that education has become far harder to gain by the monopolization of higher education. If college admissions scandals are to be solved, the issue of everyone not being able to get a higher education in the first place also needs to be solved, and this is why America needs to switch over to a college for all system in order to allow for everyone in the country to ascertain a higher education.