It’s week two of fall semester. By now, students have bought all their textbooks and paid their tuition. But how much have they spent on their education?

It’s no secret that college is wildly expensive. Covering the entire cost — what is around $25,000 per year for first and second year students at Ohio University — can be quite burdensome. Most college students have to take out loans, and the average college student finishes their undergrad $38,390 in debt.

Per year, the average college student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials. The cost of tuition averages per year between $9,970-$34,740 depending on whether it’s in-state or out-of-state and public or private. Tuition and textbooks, as college students know, aren’t the only fees. There are also housing, meal plans, student services and more depending on the university.

The whole point of going to college other than obtaining a degree is to obtain knowledge that will make one successful in his or her field, as well as in general a more well-rounded human. Education and knowledge are key tools that propel students toward success in life. Can students put a price tag on education? Is it fair that students must shovel out thousands of dollars to expand our knowledge and try to grow as people?

The average salary of people with a college degree is $49,900, while the average salary of people with only a high school diploma is $30,500– nearly a $20,000 difference. A college education makes a big difference in salary and a huge difference in life.

The ridiculous cost of getting a college education is the gatekeeping of knowledge. It shouldn’t be financially burdensome to get an education. No one person deserves to learn any more than the next person. With the price of college, it makes it much much harder for people in lower economic classes to obtain the knowledge that they need to get into a particular field. 

The price of college just reinstates the class system and works to oppress some of the already most oppressed members of our society. Knowledge, a tool that would be extremely useful for people to propel themselves forward, is hard to obtain because it is so expensive.

Putting a price on college is dangerous; that is putting a price on trying to make life-changing self improvements. The price of college has become a major setback to those who want to further their education and expand their knowledge. 

Mikayla Rochelle is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.

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