Is Higher Education an Out-of-Control, Money-making Juggernaut?
Education is a life necessity that is largely recognized. The higher the level of education, the higher the pay. The question many ask is that “is American higher-education expensive?” the general answer to this will be a yes. This is because the rate has made the dream of higher education for many students an exaggeration. According to 2019 student loan report, 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt and 11.5% of student loans are 90 days in default. The factors responsible for the high price are discussed below;
Loss of state support
Most American students enroll in public schools. The state appropriation for these state-owned schools is low. It is a known fact that the culture of American society tends to be liberal, hence, higher education is believed to be a private pursuit and not necessarily for public good. So, there is increase in spending per student. In a report by OECD, America reported the highest number of spending per student in higher education.
Regulation and ranking
There’s pressure on American higher institutions to maintain a certain standard that is accorded it all over the world. Therefore, schools are compelled to enter into competition to maintain their status or even enhance it. The direct requirements of accrediting a school in America is often imposing this exorbitant cost on students.
Availability of student loan
If education is necessary and there is no funding, how will there be a balanced equation in getting the best education if not by student loans? As a result, schools leverage on this to make more profit. However, the argument for this exorbitant rate is that students have easy access to loans.
Accessibility should not be an assessment because it was recorded in 2018 that 69% of college students took out student loans and they graduated with an average of $29,800 including private and federal debt and 14% of their parents took an average of $35,600 in federal parent PLUS loans. The high rate is evident but no culprit can be held because it is general.
Faculty compensation and workload
Higher knowledge and brilliant lecturer attract higher pay. The people employed in higher institutions are popular targets all over the world, from professors to multitude of associates, assistants, and deans. Some of these people collect more money because of the deep experience in their subject and their corporate origin.
Having seen these arguments, it is important to ask; are students really getting value for their pay? This varies on a yearly assessment of higher education institutions. Some institutions have resorted to dubious tactics in order to maximize profit. Schools might be an engine of prosperity for the nation but should not be priced than the reach of the middle class.