Student poverty is the most significant impediment facing college students today.
Many students cannot afford basic human needs such as food and housing. College tuition has gotten so expensive that many students cannot go to their classes without having to worry about how they are going to feed themselves and where they are going to stay the night.
Students go to college to improve their quality of life. Students go to college to get a degree and to get a well-paying job. However, to do this, they need to be able to pay for college. And that is where the problem lies.
It costs students on average $10,360 to attend college in Oregon for one year, not accounting for room and board. It could be three times more for out of state tuition. Many full-time students also need full-time jobs to be able to afford to live and go to college; hours upon hours of work while they still struggle to pay for basic needs such as food and housing. Many students go without food some days while still attending their classes. People who cannot feed themselves have a lower chance of comprehending what is being taught in school, according to an article in The Atlantic.
It’s not just tuition, but textbooks as well. Over the last 10 years, the price of textbooks has increased four times in cost, according to CBS. Some students in poverty try and get through their classes without having to buy books because they can’t afford them. As a consequence, these students have a harder time passing their classes. This means they may have to retake courses, thus requiring more payment.
It is an endless cycle.
Paying for housing as a college student is one of the hardest things to do. Some students live on campus, but many can’t afford the cost. The price of room and board on average has increased over 50% over the last 20 years for college students. Some awards may help pay for this, but not everyone is able to get scholarships. Two-thirds of college students take on debt, and an average student’s debt is $30,000.
Student poverty will continue to be a neverending loop unless something is done to stop it. As students, we have a voice, and we need to raise awareness of the fact that some students are in a poverty crisis.