College expenses cause increased stress

Leah Beyer, Staff Writer

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In today’s world, high school students are faced with many decisions and responsibilities that can cause high levels of stress. A major source of this stress, specifically for upperclassmen, is college and finding a way to pay for this major expense.

Over the past couple of decades, the public’s view of a college education has shifted majorly. Many jobs that could once be filled with only the completion of a high school education now require a college degree. In other words, a college degree has changed from a luxury to a necessity for a successful career and financial security.

Increased tuition rates are a result of this change, making it even harder for the majority of students to gain access to the education they both want and need. As a result of this issue, many politicians have debated over whether or not a college education should be universal and free. Although this would be ideal, the reality is that nothing is truly “free.” A change like this would only result in shifting the debt from one group of people to another, most likely in the form of taxes.

However, there are some solutions that fall between the extremes of free tuition and leaving the tuition expenses as they are. One solution to this problem, is tuition deferment.

According to Steve Cohen in his article “How to Make College Cheaper” for the New York Times, tuition deferment would allow students to defer up to 75 percent of the cost for a college education, including tuition, books, housing and more. These expenses would then be repaid over the period of 20 years. One of the upsides to this plan is that these deferments would have much lower interest rates than other loan options because it will be the colleges who take out the loans as opposed to individual people.

Additionally there are some processes and resources already in place that help lower the cost of obtaining a college degree. The most common one of these being the hundreds of scholarships offered each year with a variety of requirements, allowing all students to find multiple that apply to them.

Even outside of paying for college, high school students still experience high levels of stress that need to be addressed. According to a study conducted by New York University, “Many subgroups of youth experience high levels of chronic stress, to the extent it impedes their abilities to succeed academically, compromises their mental health functioning, and fosters risk behavior.”

It is absolutely critical that young adults who are entering the next stage of life are given concrete ways to handle their stress. One specific issue that would reduce stress on students if solved is paying for a college education. Whether it be through tuition deferment, scholarships or some other method, this is a problem that needs to be solved for future generations.

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College expenses cause increased stress