There are high demands in the workplace for degrees that put many students in great debts to pursue, creating doubts in the value of today’s high costs in education. Schools market this demand, taking advantage of eager students. High tuition’s cause many to drop out or graduate in a deep hole that can take decades after graduation to get out of. Reputable scholars believe increased aid may be the cause of high tuition’s Founder and Chairman of Viewpoint Learning Inc., Daniel Yankelovich suggests, “the federal government and private foundations can play an important strategic role in filling the holes and cracks in the system giving help both to institutions that lack rich endowments, through grants, contracts, and subsidies for community service and to students, through low cost loans, scholarships, special work-study, and etc…” I believe such programs could benefit society, while simultaneously placing a strain on the economy. Charles Murray words sound more logical, “we have a moral obligation to destroy the current role of the BA in American life.” For economical gain we need to prepare the next generation for entrepreneurship and skilled trades before they reach college. The high cost of education is unmeasured to the real dedication and passion to succeed the American dream.
It Cost to be the Boss
The bills flooding our mailboxes and outweighing our income proves the necessity of better planning strategies for our youth to excel and overcome the debts of today’s economy. Planning for your future cost time and money, and guiding your children can cost even more. College may not always be the best action, thousands of dollars can be spent traveling down the wrong road. Many people spend thousands of dollars and waste hours in classrooms learning knowledge that they will never use. This creates a drain in our economy while our society drains in debt. Countless individuals have been diving in this deep pool that they can’t swim out of, because of the mixed messages they’ve received. College degrees pay for themselves when you know how to use them. With basic knowledge, experience, skills and the right network you can keep your money and be even more successful than someone sitting at home with a degree they can’t pay for. Most skills of survival are taught through experience, not college. Education open doors for experience the same as training and persistent labor. There are many avenues to take that lead to success that cost much less than college. Demands for degrees placed many families in tremendous debt, creating doubts in the value of higher education.
Schools are taking advantage of the career demand for degrees, expanding their courses to make room for more enrollments while charging so much most students have to take loans. The quality of education received from a reputable source is believed to equate to the cost and quality of a better life, attracting more students in hopes of earning a middle-class income to keep up with the rising costs constantly rising making it too difficult to survive with anything less. The most important factor facing the Department of Education’s Commission on Higher Education is the structure of aid. Today almost anyone can enroll in some sort of post-secondary school. Four years ago President Obama challenged every American to pursue at least one year of higher education or vocational training as he was granted Presidency, and enrollment offices flooded across the country. Even a plumber can benefit from a college education, learning non-academic social skills to interact with customers and expand their business, but a college education isn’t necessarily beneficial for everyone to succeed. Other options are available in short-term career prep, apprenticeship, on the job training, self-employment, and military. These programs should be implemented in High School rather than have many graduates go straight into college dept to drop out or graduate over-qualified for most positions. “It’s empirically demonstrated that a B average or better requires linguistic and logical ability that only 10 – 15 percent of the nation’s youth possess,” says Charles Murray, a political scientist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Demands for a BA are not modified for a large majority of the population. Many young people enrolled in college wont graduate, and many graduates are now unemployed, under-employed, and over-qualified with education- related debts over their head. Schools target High School graduates, promising dreams that end in nightmares.
The demand for higher education placed many families in education-related debt. Most aid is only available for students with high test scores that can add to the prestige of the schools’ reputation, and students borrow loans that place them in dept they may never be able to get out of, and even paying students may have to sacrifice, still not get their money’s worth. Higher education needs a system that would supply a substantial amount of aid for everyone that would cover most if not all of tuition for students that don’t have the means to pay back. In 1973, Pell Grants were distributed for this reason, but researchers say colleges and universities soaked up the gains of this expansion by increasing their tuition and other costs. Many argue that more aid is needed to equalize college participation for all, while others say increasing aid is the cause of rising college costs and Pell Grant recipients are less likely to graduate, giving their environments and prior educational deficiencies regardless of how much aid they receive. President of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, Patrick M. Callan says, “recent increases in Pell Grants during the Bush and Obama administrations and higher levels of federal expenditure for the program have had a little, if any effect, an improving college access and affordability. As additional Pell dollars are absorbed by steep tuition increases, the effect is to shift costs from colleges and states to students and the federal taxpayer, with little or no net gain in higher education opportunity.”
In result of all this confusion, schools would not be able to increase their costs without students’ ability to borrow. Lerner and Esposito Consultants Inc. drew up some statistics that bring light to the impact of these costs on the individual affected. College cost increased more than twice the rate of overall inflation from 1994 to 2006. Surveys have shown that “college dept impacts well-being, career, and lifestyle choices for years after graduation day. Thirty-two percent of graduates with college dept are forced to live at home longer than expected or move back in with a parent or guardian. Forty-three percent of the indebted have postponed graduate school, and thirty-nine percent of college graduates with debt said they left a job they liked because they didn’t make enough money.” “Seventy-four percent of households with education debt say it has been difficult to pay off, and of those still paying off college debt, thirty-nine percent say it will take them at least another ten years to finish.” From graduates still paying off education related debt; twenty-four percent say debts has contributed to a habit of compulsive shopping or spending, thirty-four percent contribute to arguments with spouse, thirty-eight percent contribute to depression, and forty-eight lead to feelings of anxiety or sleeplessness.
Companies like Lerner and Esposito help families develop a comprehensive educational planning strategy of four simple steps. The first step is determining your child’s profile. “Understand that your child was born with uniquely individual traits and attributes. Identify their interests and academic strengths as well.” This will help you guide your child in the right career path and gain the full potential of their educational experience. “With college costs increasing dramatically, planning to graduate from a prestigious four year college or university debt free is one of the most significant financial challenges many families face,” according to Lerner and Esposito. Taking steps to prepare for this makes the process much smoother and worthwhile.
With many people flocking to further educate themselves, there’s still doubt in its worth that worries everyone. Most employers train their employees to perform specific tasks that acquire little if any of the knowledge learned in college, even though their college degrees got them accepted for the position. The time it takes to earn a degree according to most employers presumes qualities of intellect, hard work and conformity. A non-certified applicant can be more skilled, but overlooked for the graduate. From my perspective, skilled applicants would better qualify if tested rather than interviewed to determine their skills. This would take the hiring process in a total different direction where specific skill sets would be more credible than credentials. Most employers will train anyone qualified that can read, write, think clearly and bring a strong work ethic to the task, but without proper credentials over half of the unemployed won’t make it that far in the process leaving them unemployable beyond a common service job. Sandy Baum, an economist and the senior policy analyst at the College Board, found that “numerous careful statistical studies reveal that a relatively small proportion of the gap is explained by differences in the characteristics of students who go to college, and those who do not.” There are many people who never graduated that earn more than those who have.
Charles Murray says, “For everything except degrees in engineering and the hard sciences, I submit that most of that premium is associated with the role of the BA as a requirement instead of anything that students with BA’s actually learn. The solution to that injustice- and it is one of the most problematic social injustices in contemporary America- is to give students a way to show employers what they know, not where they learned it and how long it took them…” Our education system needs to improve the direction we lead our High School students prior to graduation. Before we can encourage college for everyone we have to get everyone to finish High School with hopes that they can maintain a satisfying income to leave their parents home. W. Norton Grubb, professor of policy, organization, measurement, and evaluation at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education suggests that we emphasize High School completion to require either college readiness or readiness for sustained employment. With this plan, no one can leave High School without some direction and less students would drop out because they’d have something greater to work towards after graduation. Most students are academically disadvantaged and would benefit more from a job training or trade school than college. The high cost of higher education often times have very little to do with the American dream of reaching great wealth. Being the boss should pay more than it cost!
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