Higher education is much too expensive for students and it is crushing their futures.

Any college student is painfully aware that higher learning is not just about learning. Colleges and universities often run more like businesses than places of learning. This is the reason many campuses focus more on profit margins than preparing the students for the careers that they are undertaking.

There is a very heavy financial burden that the students are forced to carry semester after semester. Unfortunately for some students, this financial burden must be shouldered even after graduation as they fall into thousands of dollars worth of debt.

CNBC reports that over 44 million Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loans. On average the typical borrower has $37,172 in student loans and it generally takes 21 years to pay that substantial amount of money.

This is unreasonable. It is ludicrous that a person would be expected to pay so much money just to try to set themselves up for a better future.

Students are punished financially just because they have a desire to better themselves. That desire is then used to make individuals shell out insane amounts of money for an education something that everyone should be entitled to.

Considering that one semester at Austin Peay is just below $4,000 is by no stretch of the imagination cheap. In addition to all the fees that students must pay – it is apparent that APSU needs to lower their tuition.

The New Year has come and gone and many of the students have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle. However, for any student expecting to work out at the Foy Center may have a tough time considering that much of the equipment is broken or malfunctioning. Staying in shape is difficult without the proper tools and this campus does not have them.

Students are squeezed for every dime they have. The university expects more and more from us but offers less and less.

Students give so much to this campus. We give our time, our money and our effort. We give this University the most critical point of our lives.

We are held upside down and shaken until every single penny is shaken out of our grasp. If the prices for attending this university are high that is understandable, but the university must have higher standards for itself.

Furthering your education is most difficult for blue-collar and lower-class families. For many students, they are the first in their family to attempt any secondary education and the financial burden and strain can be too heavy to bear.

USA Today reported that on average college graduates earned 56 percent more than high school graduates in 2015. They further reported that the dominance of college graduates is accelerating.

There is an obvious wage disparity between those who are college educated and those who are not.

Since education makes it easier to earn a more livable wage it makes sense to make education more obtainable. There are so many benefits to making college more affordable. With higher education becoming more affordable, the citizens would be more able to invest back into the country be it by ideas inventions or their own talents.

A better-educated population could smarter decisions at the baser levels of society and could make our foundation stronger.

If higher education was more affordable than students could focus on their studies more easily and perhaps graduate much earlier joining the workforce sooner and maybe retire early. Education should be free and if not free, it should at least be affordable.

John Adams wrote, “The people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and must be willing to bear it. There should not be a district of a one-mile-square in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”