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Furthering Students Education Matters

The prohibitively High Cost of attending college is CAUSING enrollment to drop. It’s not just 4-year colleges that are showing drops in enrollment. Community colleges have been in a drought for almost 10 years now. The process is becoming a major problem for low-income students and families. “Students from families that struggle to get by— including those who live in communities with lower shares of college-educated adults and attend high schools that have higher student-to-counselor ratios — tend to overestimate the true cost of higher education more than students from wealthier households in part because they are less aware of the financial aid for which they are eligible,” according to Michael Mitchell, Michael Leachman, and Kathleen Masterson in “Funding Down, Tuition Up.” Statistics are showing that most low-income families are people of color, which is why many people believe campus diversity is being jeopardized. When colleges make tuition and student fees higher to make more building, they forget about the issues that come with it. Issues like students not getting financial aid, campus diversity, enrollment decline, and bad performance in the classroom. We must stop believing that making something “Free” is the best way to solve things. We shouldn’t have a limit on something that is going to benefit us for a lifetime, but we shouldn’t be making the limit to where people are giving up on school.

The strategy to improve their status and appeal has backfired for schools that used tuition hikes to finance improvements to their campuses. Instead of giving out more money to help out students that want to further their education, colleges are more worried about the buildings. As a student, I could care less about what a dorm looks like or classroom. This is just my opinion, but I know many other students could verify this claim. Jon Marcus claims, in “The Paradox of New Buildings on Campus,” that “The problem is compounded by the fact that they nonetheless continue to build more—spending a record $11.5 billion last year—in the hope of attracting students at a time when enrollment is leveling off or falling.” The cost of attendance would attract more students than new buildings. Increasing tuition is a scapegoat for schools that need money for new buildings. Jon Marcus claims, in “The Paradox of New Buildings on Campus,” that “It’s an endless game of chasing your tail,” Swanson said. “Every year we lose ground and costs increase. And if we don’t get the money from the legislature, the only other place we have to get it is tuition.” In this case, many students are losing the chance to better themselves in life because of the school’s fetish for new buildings.

Education is treated as a business and to get the education we need for a better job; students must face these problems. I will always believe that we will go broke trying to get rich because of the fact that it cost us thousands of dollars just to get a few chances for a top notch job. Last year the number was at an all-time high, but this is not a problem because they rely on the students. Still, in spite of their financial woes, universities and colleges spent $11.5 billion last year on construction, an all-time high, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, a private company that tracks this,” according to Jon Marcus in “The Paradox of New Buildings on Campus. A building doesn’t attract students that just want a degree. My conclusion would be investing in programs that will guarantee more students being successful in private or public institutions. This would attract more students because it will show that the school really cares about us and doesn’t just want our money. As of today, claiming that schools don’t care about students will have a lot of people agreeing with students. They use tuition as a scapegoat to get out of financial trouble. Where does the money go? What are colleges buying? These are questions that constantly cross my mind as a student.

There are some shocking facts out there that will leave students and others shaking their head. Many say that colleges are expensive because of the fact that many of the institutions need more faculty members and they need to figure out how to pay them all. That dream house or dream car that we wanted for years can come to an end after noticing how much in debt we are in student loans. Hillary Hoffower in “College is more expensive than it’s ever been, and the 5 reasons why to suggest it’s only going to get worse,” claims that “At a four-year nonprofit private institution, tuition and room and board is $46,950, on average. Four-year public colleges charge an average of $20,770 a year for tuition, fees, and room and board. For out-of-state students, the total goes up to $36,420.” The numbers are ridiculous, we shouldn’t treat kids that want to better themselves like this. A lot of people miss out on this opportunity because of selfish institutions. Well, informed experts expect the drought to never change because of the fact that we rely so much on student aid to get kids into school. A director of strategic research at EAB stated that they absolutely need to be worried right now. This isn’t an issue that can be just pushed to the side. The problem has nothing to do with population. When colleges are losing over 50 percent of their students in the matriculation process, we are suspended to look within. When looking within the country can see that a lot of students are deciding to not attend because of financial reasons. We can’t blame this all on the government though.

The failure of schools to get kids to excel is a reason why the government is cutting back for community colleges. Ashley Smith claims in “No Bottom Yet in 2-Year College Enrollments”, that “EAB found that out of 100 students who apply to a two-year college, 56 are lost during onboarding, 23 drops out and just five are still enrolled after six years. Only nine of the 100 complete an associate degree and seven complete a bachelor’s degree.” The government will not waste their money trying to fund students when statistics show that they will just end up dropping out or even fail out. In this era, relying on student aid or government aid is like waiting around for pigs to start flying. In other words, it’s not happening. Ashley Smith claims in “No Bottom Yet in 2-Year College Enrollments,” that “Community colleges are used to declining enrollments when the economy is strong, and unemployment is low. But some researchers are warning colleges that future declines are only expected to get worse amid cuts in state funding and more pressure on institutions to produce measurable outcomes.” This is one of the few factors on why Community colleges have been in a drought for almost 10 years now. Some state schools give less financial aid to out-of-state students, which is why things can get a little expensive. Farran Powell in “Explore the Top Public National Universities,” claims that “Public colleges and universities often do not give enough financial aid to out-of-state students to make it an affordable option.”

Tuition doesn’t just damage the enrollment; it can also cause Demographic shifts. “Demographic shifts may be associated with changes in enrollment such as the growth of various subgroups or the population in general,” according to Nathan Lassila. 71 percent of students often use student loans to pay off school. That’s more than half, which makes me question the effort of colleges looking for a change. Lowering income students are still struggling until this day. In fact, a lot of them are paying more because they are not on the same rate as students that have a higher income. “However, there is a large gap in the ratio of low-income and higher-income students who enroll in post-secondary education,” according to Nathan Lassila. This is a fear for a lot of colleges, but still, they can’t seem to find a solution. If the numbers continue to grow schools will see the majority of the higher income families participate in college more than the lower income families. The cost and fees are causing a lot of students to throw in the towel. Why continue to wait on student aid when they’re cutting back? Institutions need a better solution when attacking this problem.

Colleges must first understand that a growing number of Americans live in poverty. Two would be that a lot of students are fighting for extra money, so when students try to do scholarships it doesn’t help the situation. It doesn’t help because institutions don’t give out enough scholarships for everybody. The amount of people struggling with the cost of attendance is way higher than the number of scholarships given out. They need to see that the cost scares a lot of students away. Nothing will change but the fact that enrollment will continue to decrease if they don’t take these baby steps. The institutions need to stop sitting around and waiting for a miracle to happen. Waiting around will do nothing but bring grey hairs. This is a serious issue that needs to be spoken on every day. There are too many jobs that require a lot of people to have higher education, but it seems like things will never change for the better for the students.

There are always two sides to the story, but one side always tries to bash the other group. In debate like this, we have the people that believe tuition should be lowered and others that don’t. Critics are so blind to the fact and it can show why there is no change for the better in the past decade. Instead of blaming the school for their actions, many are just blaming the government or personal beliefs. The people that are blind to tuition increase believe that we should stop making the mistake of going out of state to make your dreams come true. That out-of-state school will give us the same information that an in-state school would. The HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center claims that “The average tuition for an in-state student at a four-year public school for an undergraduate student was $6,752. The average tuition for an out-of-state student at a four-year public school for an undergraduate student was $15,742.” Students are too worried about getting away from parents and going buck wild. This is why we can see a lot of people bashing community colleges. They just want that experience of craziness.

Tuition is a problem, but it doesn’t have to be a problem for students. In other words, it’s our choice if we want to suffer from student debt. Community colleges, in-state schools, and scholarships all help students lower the cost of tuition. “Free” will not be the answer to this problem. People would just go to college for the parties if a college education was free. We need to remember that staff needs money too and if the school isn’t being funding how can they pay them for their efforts. Basically, this is a sign of being blind to a major issue. The schools are going to show no efforts to change when they have people like this backing them up.

Since nobody is taking that step for change, we as students must look into thing ourselves. This will not be a problem because at the end of the day we will be controlling our own future. Students have to take advantage of the opportunity rather than dwell on the ignorance of schools. When dealing with paying for college education, students should know how to get free money. In reality, a lot of students don’t understand how to qualify for more money. Students can find free money in Scholarships, Grants, Volunteer organizations, Athletics, Churches, etc. Christy Rakoczy in “Experts Reveal 19 Best Places to Find Free Money for College,” claims that “Plenty of students find scholarships and grants. In fact, college students received a total of $125.4 billion in grant money during the 2016-17 academic year.” As a student, we determine how we want to live our four years of college. We can either be stressed out or stress-free. We have a lot of organizations out there that understand that a lot of people need help when expanding their education. The claim that we haven’t made a step towards helping out students is false. The real issue is the students being too lazy and not wanting help.

Most of the time students are turning down free money because they don’t feel like typing a 500-word essay. Yes, they have some scammers out there on online sites, but students can ask their guidance counselor about legit ones. Students can also work for school while attending. This will help pay off some of the debt or eliminate some of the fees we are paying for. Becoming an RA may help students in the long run. When becoming an RA, students are rewarded free room and board. Students must take advantage of the opportunities that are out there, or they will suffer. Lowering tuition will be a process that will take a lot of years, so, for now, students must look into things that will help them pay for college. Christy Rakoczy in “Experts Reveal 19 Best Places to Find Free Money for College,” claims that “most students who start in their junior year of high school should be able to get at least some free money — usually around $300 to $5,000 — if they exhaust their options for free funding. The key is to get going and keep trying to apply until you hit the jackpot.” We often look for sympathy when looking for the change, instead of finding another path. Don’t complain about not having fun in school when you’re the reason for not having fun.

The institutions and students need to stop sitting around and waiting for a miracle to happen. Waiting around will do nothing but bring grey hairs. This is a serious issue that needs to be spoken on every day. There are too many jobs that require a lot of people to have higher education, but it seems like things will never change for the better for the students. School is not a choice when jobs are hiring people only with a college education. Jeffrey J. Selingo claims, in “College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want,” that “a recent Harris Poll found that two-thirds of 14- to 23-year-old students want a degree to provide financial security, ranking it above all else when it comes to their motivation for going to college?” Working for 10$ an hour will not help our family forever, so how is going to college a choice? Nobody wants to rely on state funding and weekly McDonalds checks all their life. The mindset of these students is caused by the rising of tuition and stagnant wages. This is becoming a problem for schools because it makes it seem like 4-year Universities are turning into trade schools. They say that higher education is supposed to stay with us forever, but in this era, many students think it is just about the money we make after the 4 years. Of course, like every other topic, colleges are showing barely any progress to fix the mindset of students. “To prepare for the changing nature of work, colleges need to be more flexible in their academic offerings and employers in how they hire. That way, students will get what they want out of higher education and won’t fall into the trap of underemployment,” according to Jeffrey J. Selingo in “College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want?” We face a lot of problems when it comes to further our education, so to help us out colleges should definitely lower tuition. We go through hell and back just to make our parents proud of us.

Leave the buildings and the adding staff alone and focus more on the kids. The numbers of enrollment will increase when the tuition decrease. “Over the last 20 years, the price of attending a four-year public college or university has grown significantly faster than the median income,” according to Michael Mitchell, Michael Leachman, and Kathleen Masterson in “Funding Down, Tuition Up.” I encourage all students and staff to demand change for the colleges. The problem with this country is that we are too late to speak on an issue. We wait and wait for the situation to become a crisis, then speak on it. We must deal with this situation now because a lot of people want that chance to further their education. We can’t blame this all on the government anymore. Tuition is a problem we face every day, but it doesn’t have to be a problem for students. In other words, it’s our choice if we want to suffer from student debt. Community colleges, in-state schools, and scholarships all help students lower the cost of tuition. “Free” will not be the answer to this problem. People would just go to college for the parties if a college education was free. We need to remember that staff needs money too and if the school isn’t being funding how can they pay them for their efforts. Students still have high-quality professors while attending a community college, so why not start there? Teachers are putting students in the right direction to become successful, but students are more focused on the aftermath. Stop thinking just because students are put into the top of the line dorms, introduced to groups that are focused on them, put in small size classes for easier learning, and have a bunch of people that have their back throughout the 4 years makes it okay for the number of attendance should be high. Lowering tuition or suffer from campus diversity.

Resources

Community college enrollment rates expected to keep falling. (2018, June 21). Retrieved March 24, 2019, from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/06/21/community-college-enrollment-rates-expected-keep-falling

Explore the Top Public National Universities. (2018, September 25). Retrieved March 31, 2019, from https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/explore-the-10-top-public-national-universities

Funding Down, Tuition Up. (2017, October 11). Retrieved from https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/funding-down-tuition-up

Hoffower, H. (2018, July 08). College is more expensive than it’s ever been, and the 5 reasons why suggest it’s only going to get worse. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-college-so-expensive-2018-4

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from https://www.heath.gwu.edu/state-vs-out-state-tuition

Lassila, Nathan E. (2011) “Effects of Tuition Price, Grant Aid, and Institutional Revenue on Low-Income Student Enrollment,” Journal of Student Financial Aid: Vol. 41: Iss. 3, Article 2. Available at: http://publications.nasfaa.org/jsfa/vol41/iss3/2 

Marcus, J. (2016, July 25). The Hidden Reason College Costs Keep Climbing. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/the-paradox-of-new-buildings-on-campus/492398/

Rakoczy, C. (2018, February 09). 19 Places to Find Free Money for College. Retrieved from https://studentloanhero.com/featured/free-money-for-college-grants-scholarships/

Selingo, J. J. (2018, September 01). College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want? Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/09/01/college-students-say-they-want-a-degree-for-a-job-are-they-getting-what-they-want/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f85f084d4e74


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