Advanced Conversation with Jennifer on College Tuition in the U.S.🎓 (1)
Hi there. I'm Jennifer from English with Jennifer, and in this video I'd like to
offer vocabulary and information that will help you talk about a hot topic in
the U.S. right now: college tuition and free public college. Should College be free?
If you're looking for more current issues like immigration, homelessness, and
health care, be sure to check out my conversation playlist and look for those
advanced conversation topics. My goal in all these videos is to give
English language learners the confidence to follow and participate in
conversations about these important issues. My goal is not to promote any
political agenda. And if you're interested in understanding the U.S.
system of education in detail, be sure to check out an older lesson of mine. I take
you through the system from preschool to graduate school. I'll put all useful
links in the video description. Okay? And hey! Don't forget to subscribe. I'll help
you make progress in English with a new video each week here on YouTube. I'm also
posting on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there as well. Okay. Let's start
Ten thousand dollars. What can you buy for that amount of money in the U.S.?
Well, $10K might pay the average hospital bill in the U.S. Shocking, right?
How about twenty-two thousand? Thirty thousand dollars? Or fifty-five thousand dollars?
Thirty six to fifty-five thousand dollars would buy you a parking space in
Boston. Perhaps not the best one, but a decent one. And all those amounts I just
listed would pay college tuition here in the U.S. at different types of colleges.
First, let's get one thing straight. What do I mean by "college"? In the U.S., high
school is what we call the final years of schooling. We have 12 grades. 9th,
10th, 11th, and 12th grades are high school. If you are a high school
student, you're between the ages of 14 and 18. When you finish high school, you
get a high school diploma. Then you can either work or go to college. "College" is
a general word for the study one does after high school in order to get an
undergraduate degree. You can get an undergraduate degree at a college or a
university. Community colleges have two-year programs. You study there to get
an associate's degree. That's a type of undergraduate degree. You could also
transfer from a community college to a four-year college in order to get a
bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is another type of undergraduate degree, but
it takes two more years to earn. You can get a
bachelor's degree at a college or a university. Here are common things we ask
and say in American English. Are you going to college? Do you plan to go to
college? Where did you go to college? Does he have a college degree? He's a college
student. She's a college professor. Their kids went off to college. My brother is
still in college. My sister is finishing college this year.
"College" in all those statements is a general word that could refer to either
a college or university.
So what's the difference between a college and a university? You can get the
same basic education and the same degree at a college or university in the U.S.
Colleges are generally smaller and don't always have a graduate program.
Universities are often larger, and, in fact, universities can be made up of
colleges. A large university can have 50,000 students or more. My small college
had a little over a thousand students.
Universities might have more research opportunities, and they usually have
bigger sports programs. Universities by definition are not more prestigious than
colleges. In fact, some elite colleges are very competitive and outrank many
universities. A liberal arts college gives students a chance to study in
different areas, especially before a student chooses a major. A major is one's
specialty. For example, I went to a small liberal arts college, and I chose to
study foreign languages and education. Besides things like Russian classes and
educational psychology, I took music and art classes. I even had one semester of
computer programming. And I took an African dance class to satisfy a
requirement for physical education. So from here on out, when I say "college," I'm
referring to universities and colleges in the U.S. One problem in our country
today is the rising cost of a college education. College tuition is rising each
year, but our yearly income isn't growing as fast. U.S. News and World Report listed
$10,116 as the average tuition at a public
college if you live in that state. Public colleges are schools run by the state.
State colleges and universities offer lower tuition for residents. In-state
tuition is lower than out-of-state tuition. An out-of-state student may pay
around $22,000. So if you go to a state school, it's cheaper to stay in your own
state. It could even be free.
Some public colleges offer free tuition for low-income and middle-income
families, so if a student's family has an income over a certain amount, say,
$125,000, they are not entitled to free tuition. If tuition is free,
should it be free for all or free only for some? What's fair? What's right? Let's
say there's one family that earns $100,000. They have one child and they
want to send that child to college. Now there's a second family and they earn
$130,000. That's just over the cutoff, but they have two children around the same
age. They want to send their two children to college. Does that second family
deserve any financial aid? Here's another way to look at it. State schools, as I
understand, receive state funding. Government money comes from tax dollars.
If some families are already paying higher taxes, should they also pay full
tuition at a public college? Some say yes. If you have more, you need to contribute
more. Some say no. If everyone shares at least some of the financial
responsibility and contributes, then no one will take their education for
granted. Here's one more question. Should students with a strong academic record
in high school be rewarded with lower tuition at a public college regardless
of their family's household income? Some state schools have free tuition and then
require students to remain in the state after graduation for a certain number of
years. It makes some sense, right? If the state invests in you, you should give
back to the community by starting your career in that state. Do you agree?
In recent news, there's been some discussion about making a stronger
connection between tuition assistance and the job market. If we have too many
people pursuing a medical degree, for example, and not enough people entering
other professions, should we perhaps give greater tuition assistance to those who
are willing to fill those open jobs? What do you think? If there's a shortage of
childcare workers or plumbers, would free training help attract young people and
also keep more students out of debt?
Tuition at a prestigious private college can be around $55,000. Once you add in
room and board, meaning a place to live and food to eat, the tuition (cost) for one year
of full-time education can be around $75,000. Yes.
Seventy-five thousand dollars. It's a lot.
What schools charge that much? Top-name schools. Let's start with the Ivy
Leagues. Those are the oldest and generally most prestigious schools in
our country. They include Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities. There are a
total of eight Ivy League schools. I went to one of the Seven Sisters. Those are
historically women's colleges, but today they offer a co-ed experience in some
form, meaning men and women study together. My school, Bryn Mawr College, has
a close relationship with Haverford College. I took a lot of classes there. I
lived in dorms with men and took classes with men. Bryn Mawr's tuition is
currently fifty-three thousand dollars a year. How do families afford such prices?
Some families are wealthy enough to pay the tuition. A lot aren't. Most students
apply to college and hope for a good financial aid package. First, students
hope for scholarship money. Few are lucky enough to get a full scholarship. Others
can get a partial scholarship for sports or academics. Second, you can get a campus
job. When I was an undergraduate student, I worked on campus in the cafeteria. I
also did babysitting around town. College students often get summer jobs, part-time
jobs, and sometimes paid internships.
Third, some parents start a college fund while their children are still young. You
may hear some Americans talk about a 529 plan. The basic idea is to save money for
your child's college education. A 529 plan allows parents to create a college
savings plan. Parents can invest what they're able to invest, and the main
benefit is tax-free earnings. You let your money grow and then take it out
when you need to start paying college tuition. Finally, families take out loans.
Student loans are very common and sadly many students graduate with debt. They
owe money to the bank, and they have to work to gradually pay it back. My parents
sacrificed a lot to put four kids through college. They paid for my
undergraduate education. Then I paid for graduate school. I was married and still
paying off my student loan. It's not easy to live with debt, but many Americans do.
One way to avoid debt is not to spend money or take out a loan. Some high
school students take a gap year. They put off college for one year and they spend
the time working, traveling, or maybe doing volunteer work of some kind.
If a young adult isn't sure what he or she wants to do yet, or if they didn't
get into the college of their choice and want to reapply, or if they didn't
earn a scholarship or enough financial aid and they need to work to
earn some money, a gap year is an option.
Some wait even longer to go to college. Some enter the workforce immediately
after high school and then decide to pursue a college degree years later. Then
there are those who go to college after high school, but then they have to drop
out for some reason. Maybe financial reasons. By the time these working adults
decide to go to college or go back to college, they may have families and very
little time. These are all reasons why online college programs have become so
popular. Some choose to study online in order to have a flexible schedule and to
keep costs down. Online degrees are generally much cheaper. I think online
degrees are a terrific option for some. For me personally, I'm thankful I had the
opportunity to study on a college campus as a full-time student. College campuses
are a place for personal growth and the many extracurricular activities can
create a rich undergraduate experience. My college experience continues to some
extent because now I'm part of the alumnae association. An alum or alumna is
someone who went to a particular school. A good college gives you a network, a
community to belong to. That's partly what you're paying for. I should mention
that alumni make donations, which help pay scholarship money.
However, some argue that U.S. colleges today offer too many luxuries, that some
college campuses look more like resorts and less like educational institutions.
How nice does a gym have to be? Do college students need steam showers and
saunas, recreational activities, and fine dining?
If such amenities were taken away, how much would tuition come down? Is this
something we should consider?
Something to remember is that nothing is really free. Everything has a cost. Free