Rutgers students support decreased tuition
As the price of college tuition continues to rise, Rutgers students have expressed their hope to decrease it.
The average cost of tuition for a private four-year college in the 2015-2016 school year was $32,405, according to the College Board.
Individual universities and the government are both responsible for tuition increases across the country, said Megan Coyne, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. Decreased funding for colleges from state officials places the financial burden almost entirely on the students and taxpayers.
“I absolutely think that (college) should be free,” said Coyne, president of the Rutgers University Democrats.
“The universities themselves are to blame, especially the private ones where they're more (concerned with) profit,” Coyne said. “The government (is also to blame), both federal and state, for not taking enough initiative to help students out and put pressure on schools to lower their costs.”
Free college is ideal, and should be the primary focus of reform, said Polina Goryunova, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore and treasurer of the All Marxist-Leninist Union.
“Free college may not be an easy goal, but it’s definitely one worth fighting for,” said Emmanuel Cordoba, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
A college degree secures a well-paid job, and without a college degree it can be nearly impossible for someone to find a job, Cordoba said.
Loans are becoming less effective because of increasing costs, and as a result, student debt is on the rise, Coyne said.
“Abandoning (student) loans as a system will cause lots of problems, it will cause increased college competition and not everyone has an equal opportunity to go to college, which is problematic,” Goryunova said.
Cordoba said it is true that loans are becoming increasingly less helpful, but he does not believe there is an alternative option to make college more affordable.
The government's inability to make college free does not make sense. Primary and secondary education are free, so higher education should be free as well, Coyne said.
“I think that the government needs to take a more active role in higher education as far as financing it,” Coyne said. “It's really not possible to sustain a lifestyle without having a college degree.”
Cordoba is optimistic about free college and believes it will be attainable in the near future.
“I think that there's a drive towards it, especially in our generation,” Coyne said. “It's something that people our age are really passionate about, so as we grow up and we go into power in government I think it's definitely something that will happen and it will be viable.”
Manuel Silva-Paulus is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.