Friday, March 11, 2011

Focusing On What Is Pertinent

What was once the great equalizer that opened doors for anyone wanting to better themselves and that bridged racial, social, economic, and geographic divides is now waning in its availability for the masses.

College tuition in many states is on the rise lately, and if further cuts to education take place, every college bound student should just get ready to kiss their shot at financing their education goodbye.

Young students attempting to chasing their dreams and trying to reach their goals primarily depend on the cost of higher education, but when tuition keeps rising every year, how can anyone afford to go to school.

Combining loans, grants, income from family members and hoping that they can pay for some of their college costs are the tactics that students have to go through every year, and it’s just getting worse all of the time.

The Institutional Research Program at the University of California in Los Angeles reported in their annual Freshman Survey that of the 62 percent whose choice was affected by the economy, 55 percent are at their first-choice college, compared with 69 percent of those not affected by the economy. The affected students are more likely to be living at home or attending college close to home. Fourteen percent of them report major concerns about financing their education.

As a college student today, I hear the stories about how everyone is just trying to make it from semester to semester. Students end up picking up part time jobs at fast food stops and commercial retailers in the attempt to pay for expensive books and the ever increasing insanely high tuition.

Many other students end up at two-year colleges or no college at all, because of concerns about costs. Two-thirds of the students who do happen to get into four-year universities collect debt up to their eyeballs and spend years after graduation trying to pay it all off.

We tell our youth that education is the way to go all the time, because for the most part it’s completely true if you want to achieve some sort of success. The problem is that we give them advice that is leading to a steadily unobtainable goal.

My full concern isn’t about whether or not I’m on the waitlist for half of my classes, although class unavailability due to budget cuts in the education department are impeding on graduation rates, but that the majority of the American population can’t even get into the colleges in the first place solely because of financial problems.

You might say that financial aid would cover the costs for college if you don’t have enough money, but that isn’t always so for the middle class. The middle class often suffers the most suffering from an average $30,000 upon graduation from loan collection.

A lot of middle class families haven’t been told that The American Opportunity Tax Credit, a recently renewed item in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Art, allows Illinois families a credit of up to $2,500 per student on their 2009 and 2010 tax returns. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, less than half of eligible Illinois families claimed the credit on their 2009 taxes. As for the rest of the middle class in America, we’re just screwed.

Our government is not helping anyone out by making it so the future generation can’t take care of themselves let alone the aging part of the population. The last time I checked, you need a college degree to become a physician. I wouldn’t want to completely run out of those.

Reposted via So Educated.

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