By Pooja KumbharColumnist
The Statue of Liberty faces outwards from New York Harbor toward the nations of the world, holding aloft in her hands the torch of freedom, the flame of hope, and the promise of the future. Her message is universal, speaking to the hearts of those who cherish freedom everywhere. She represents hope to the hopeless, welcome to the poor and courage to the meek. For these, and for countless others who embrace her message, the Statue of Liberty is an embodiment of the golden door to the American Dream.
The American Dream of rags to riches says that anything can happen with hard work and persistence. The sky is the limit to what one can build. Freedom allows every dreamer the equal opportune to break social and economic barriers and to turn their dreams into reality. However, this reality seems to be dwindling further and further away from reach for the common person, as the monster known as American college tuition continues to grow well past the rate of inflation.
Education is unlimited and ubiquitous. It is a privilege that comes with freedom, chartering the key to success. To put a price on education is to confine the length of human capacity and knowledge to an unnatural standard. History’s favorite president Bill Clinton once said, “When we make college more affordable, we make the American Dream more achievable.”
Many Hofstra students struggle to balance federal work-study jobs on campus, while keeping up with schoolwork at the same time. Plenty others work off campus as well to be able to afford the purchase of books, meal plans, and tuition fees. Being a private school and with tuition on a yearly rise, Hofstra students continuously stress paying off future loans.
Surging college costs price out the middle class Americans who make up most of the country. The current average median income is less than what most colleges cost. Adversaries like this force a person to either settle for a less than capable career path due to financial incompetence to afford tuition or to subdue to a burden of financial debt even before taking on a career. Those with less money are deterred from moving up the social ladder since certain priorities in life come first such as maintaining a stable family, health, and security which are all too important to risk at the stake of college expense and student loan debts. This keeps the people of middle and lower class in a muffled cycle of prevented attempts from rising above and out of their social and economic classes. U.S. colleges ultimately become a privilege enjoyed majorly by the wealthy and upper class being able to reap the benefits of higher education and advance from earning a degree.