Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Higher Education Comes At Big Cost
As many college graduates can testify, the costs of paying for college comes at a big cost. For those not lucky enough to have full scholarships and grants, the loans can build up. The average college student finishes college with $25,000 worth of debt. Welcome to the real world huh? However many do not finish college at all. Not because of academic probation or dropping out, but due to the lack of financial resources to pay.
Many first-year students report that they are concerned about finances, according to the 2009 National Freshman Attitudes Report, released by Noel-Levitz, the nation’s leading enrollment management consulting firm for colleges and universities. The study was based on 98,120 first-year students at 265 colleges and universities. The study found that less than half of the students (46 percent) said they had adequate financial resources to finish college, and 29 percent had financial difficulties that are very distracting or troublesome. First-generation students were particularly at risk for financial stress. Students at two-year institutions reported higher levels of financial anxiety than their counterparts at four-year institutions.
The fact is this problem was in place before this current recession hit us. I want to focus right now on the African American community. According to the most recent statistics, the nationwide college graduation rate for black students stands at an appallingly low rate of 42 percent. This figure is 20 percentage points below the 62 percent rate for white students. Im sure that financial resources plays a big part in these numbers.
College costs have increased over the years yet many family incomes have not increased, which has made the idea of even attending college only a dream for some. In this day in time everyone needs to have at least a bachelors or Associates degree. The high school diploma doesn't account for much these days.
I applaud the President for really trying to revamp the student loan system and trying to ease the costs of higher education on families. However there is much to be done and more help is needed. Many people are falling through the cracks and it doesn't help them or this country if we do not produce outstanding hardworking citizens to carry us on into the future.