Like many students, I am employed through my university, and, even though I have a place to live with a meal plan, I often find myself desperately trying to scrape together enough money to buy my textbooks at the beginning of each semester (and I know I am not the only one who gets a twinge of pain after searching endlessly for the textbook I need and shelling out hundreds of dollars). With the cost of attending college, combined with the often low-income status of many students, college students should not be taxed.
According to Time, the average person will pay 20 percent of their federal income to taxes. Even though I am all for people paying their fair share, it seems a little ridiculous for that much money to be taken from me for it not to go towards fixing our abysmal roads and for me to have to pick up extra shifts to get the books I need for classes.
College students are like me: dirt poor. Even though our families might have money, many of us are unable to tap into some endless supply of resources in order to get everything we need. Many of us have to work hard and pull together what we have. We have to work and we have to do our homework and go to classes as well, so that leaves very little time for thinking up ways to spend money at our leisure since so many of us don’t have any money at all.
According to Tyler Kingkade of The Huffington Post, “The National Association of College Stores (NACS) says the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year, but with a single textbook easily costing as much as $300, that total can easily be much higher. In fact, the College Board puts the annual cost of books and materials at $1,168. Students at for-profit colleges tend to spend even more.”
Kingkade continues, “College textbook prices are 812 percent higher than they were a little more than three decades ago, the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank, reports. Textbook costs have well outpaced the 559 percent increase in tuition and fees over roughly the same period.”
So, it’s not like we can do what our parents or grandparents did and pay for our education by working at the same time, because that is no longer possible. According to The Atlantic, back then “a summer spent scooping ice cream could pay for a year of college. Today, the average student's annual tuition is equivalent to 991 hours behind the counter.”
A wonderful solution would be to stop taxing college students. If we could keep the little bit of money taken out of our paychecks every month, this would certainly help to pay for books and supplies. We could use the extra money to take care of families who might need help or to even show a kind gesture to a friend in need.
We need to stop the taxation of college students everywhere. This might just give us all a fighting chance of maintaining sanity.