The Value Of Higher Learning Fuels Rising College Enrollment Costs
A college education has always been considered valuable. It is often a stepping stone to a higher paying professional and foundation for higher learning. Some people may even say that it is priceless. And the general perception that coincides with this belief is that you cannot put a price on education. It’s just that valuable.
By today’s standard this theory of valuable may still hold true. The inability to place a price on education, on the other hand, is more so a cliche than reality. Anyone that has enrolled in a college or university is intimately aware of the rising cost of college enrollment. This can be felt in both state funded and private universities. College students everywhere are taking out higher loans and paying more for books, housing, and courses than students that were enrolled more than a decade ago.
A higher learning through a collegiate program has always been the ideal foundation for career advancement. This fact is realized even more in a recession. A poor economy can drive masses to college enrollment in search of another field of study. Other graduates pursue higher degrees in the field of studies that they currently hold degrees in. The increase in college enrollment costs, unfortunately, can halt potential students that are in pursuit of degrees.
The rising costs for state institutions can often be contributed to a decrease in state funding. This is usually an occurrence that is linked to a poor economy. Factors such as this cause students to inevitably burrow more money in order to complete their college degrees. From a long term perspective this increase has an even greater effect. The larger sums of money that are burrowed will accrue even more interest that the graduates will be responsible for long after they have finished school.
The sting of rising enrollment costs are also felt in the private universities as well. This is particularly true when departmental cuts are made and the operating expenses increase. Students that attend these colleges and universities must be aware of all the changes that can occur suddenly in the middle of their college semesters. Students that do not require financial aid must brace themselves for the possibility of increase in advance and adjust their loan requests accordingly.
Another major reason that the cost has increased over the last several years has to do with faculty. Higher salaries for department staff can lead to an increase of college enrollment costs. This is particularly true in private colleges where the faculty usually receives higher pay.
Fortunately financial aid for many students outside of the private arena has increased over the years. The irony is that the cost of enrollment has still increased in leaps and bounds by comparison to that of financial aid. This means that students that are not in private institutions are largely increasing their loan amounts just as the students of private institutions.
Large increases such as this severely alter the attendance demographics at college and university campuses. Many students that may have once considered full time enrollment will drop classes and attend college on a part time basis. Others may withdraw completely and ponder whether a college education is truly the right choice for them.
The increased enrollment costs has changed the minds of many, but overall student enrollment has not declined. The enrollment as increased over time just as the cost of tuition. This is truly realized in the ivy league school realm. So many students apply to these schools that they are accepted but immediately put on a waiting list because there simply is not enough room to accept them.
The question that many may ask once all of this money is paid for college is whether the cost is justified. Is the college degree still the stepping stone for career building? The answer is found in the supply and demand factor for higher education. It is relevant to point out that no institution would be able to increase college costs if there was not such a huge demand for the services provided.
No colleges could function without the student body, and the current state of school student enrollment proves that there is an high demand. From this perspective it can be argued that the college degree is not only valuable for the privileged. It is practical and essential for all.
There was once a time when a college education was more of a privilege than a requirement. There was smaller enrollment because many people finished high school and entered the work force immediately. Others joined the military and this became their lifelong career. This has changed drastically over the last several decades. High school students that entered the work force soon found that there were limitations to their ability to advance. Military personnel also experience certain career path limitations upon exit from the military.
The result was a change in the mind frame of the population as a whole. High school students began to pay more attention to the advice of counselors and recruiters. Enlisted military personnel began to take advantage of GI Bill programs. The privileged college education theory was now a fundamental step to career building. It became a program that masses pursued before entering the work force. In short it moved from the exception to the rule. This factor in conjunction with the others above greatly contributed to the rise of enrollment costs.
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