New Jersey girl may not be suing her parents anymore, but college is still expensive
Bob Karp, Associated Press
Looks like New Jersey native Rachel Canning won’t have to worry about suing her parents anymore.
According to USA Today, Canning — who caused a national stir earlier this month when she tried to sue her parents to pay for her college tuition — has been awarded a $56,000 scholarship to attend Western New England University. She plans on majoring in biomedical engineering.
Canning’s unique legal battle, in which she reportedly claimed her parents verbally abused her and kicked her out of their home (according to nj.com, Canning moved out of her parents home after refusing to break up with her boyfriend) in Lincoln Park, N.J., brought national attention to rising college tuition costs, and students’ inability to pay those costs without help.
“The economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses,” The Atlantic’s Svati Kirsten Narula wrote on Tuesday.
Narula then explained a brief history of tuition costs in America.
“Each year’s crop of college seniors paid a little bit more than the class that graduated before,” Narula wrote, calling the trend an “unfair reality.”
“The tuition crunch never fails to provide new fodder for ongoing analysis of the myths and realities of The American Dream.”
Canning’s attempt to sue her parents to pay her way through college isn’t the first time creative ways for students to make ends meet has been in the news — and won’t be the last.
In 2009, then Duke University student Ken Ilgunas made headlines when he wrote about his choice to live in a van while receiving his bachelor’s degree.
“Living in a van was my grand social experiment,” Ilgunas wrote in Salon. “I wanted to see if I could — in an age of rampant consumerism and fiscal irresponsibility — afford the unaffordable: an education.”
And unaffordable it is: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition at public universities has risen to $13,600 per academic year on average. Private not-for-profit’s have reached $36,300 and for-profit’s are estimated by NCES to be at $23,500.
“If it used to be possible to work your way through college without having any special skills, then any young person with drive or determination could do it, even if they came from poverty,” The Federalist’s Robert Tracinski wrote on Wednesday.
“Today, it’s still true that anyone can get through college — if they’re willing to emerge saddled with enormous government-sponsored loans which they will take decades to pay off As for degrees with no clear economic payoff — art, sociology, or English — forget about it. Those are for rich kids."