I am writing in response to the commentary headlined “Families burdened by rising higher education costs,” published in The Daily Progress on Nov. 17.

As a college student, I am concerned about rising tuition costs. My family does not qualify for aid, and I work to help cover my living expenses. I am fortunate that I have not yet had to take out a loan. Many students accumulated so much in student loans that they were forced to drop out after two years in college. Dropouts do not have as much potential to earn as do people who complete their degrees.

Additionally, the rising cost of education makes it difficult for less wealthy students to afford degrees in professions that require extended schooling, such as lawyers and doctors. The increasing tuition cost is furthering inequality in the education system and in our society — in social class, status, and power. Education should be an equalizer; however, only the wealthy can afford higher education without increasing their debt.

A person’s socioeconomic status has the potential to rise with a college degree. Those who are less wealthy have a much lower socioeconomic status and are at a disadvantage simply because they do not have the opportunity to get an education past high school. They are facing financial deprivation.

Instead of offering students grants, financial aid and loans, why not pay college students to complete their education, covering their tuition as compensation?

Emily Missana

Greene County

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