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The Current

The Current

The Current

The real cost of college

The SAT is a test that can make life difficult for students. Courtesy Photo

As Americans, we hold the ideals of the American Dream very dear to our hearts, believing hard work is the key to success. Many students here at Bear River and across the country take school very seriously and try to get the most they can out of it, all in the hopes of landing at a great college. But what they don’t realize is that getting into a university isn’t a meritocratic process.

The average GPA for some of the nation’s top schools can be in the ranges of 4.8 and upwards, with SAT and ACT scores to match. It is colloquially thought that this means the students there really are the best of the best, but at the Current, we see the root comes down to finances.

Many organizations contribute to this money problem, like in how the College Board makes students pay a fee for their standardized testing and how Advanced Placement and similar companies (which is how a student can earn a GPA of 4.01+) charge for their class exams. These tests can run upwards of $100 each.

Even the companies themselves acknowledge the power they have to sway college admissions. According to a study by Crux Research, which AP proudly displays on their website, a whopping 85% of selective colleges report that taking AP classes favorably impacts admissions decisions. It’s clear that those who can pay to have these educational opportunities are definitely getting more than just the ability to play the game, but to win it outright.

Many of our students seem to have also realized this predicament.

College bound senior Aden Mattson felt money played too great of a role but needed more information before making any revisions. 

“It definitely favors the rich and is very expensive, but I also feel it would be difficult to move away from that successfully due to the nature of our economy. I would need to do more research to take a solid stance,” Mattson said.

Senior Sierra Dixon supported her stances with examples of how many students already have financial difficulties apart from even just school.

“I think that you shouldn’t have to pay to take a test. I think that is a huge rip-off in itself. A lot of students can’t afford to take tests,” Dixon said. “A lot of students can’t afford a meal, that’s why we have free meals now, let alone take a test. You’re not assured to pass the test, which would make it a waste of money. I feel like there’s no reason you have to pay for it. There’s plenty of places where that money can come from, such as taxes.”

Additionally, senior Araya Reed believed that the current testing and advanced classes system made it even easier for those with money to buy their way into schools.

“There’s already a high chance that people are going to buy their way into college anyway. Why open more doors for them to do it?” Reed inquired. “It just makes it easier for those people, a shorter path to it. Plus, I think the SAT and ACT are bogus, because you are paying for a test, you are basically paying for your grades.”

At the end of the day, the real cost of college is missing out on some very bright people who can’t afford to even strive for it.

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The real cost of college