One of the earliest memories I have on the topic of higher education was with my parents at an extremely early age. IT was always discussions about future plans and my parents would always ask me “Which college do you want to get in to? Harvard or Yale?”
This always interested me, the question was never “What do you want do with your life?” or “what do you want to do when you become an adult?” It was always, which college do you want to get to and then which graduate career do you want to get into and so on and so forth. The most peculiar part of my parents saying things like this was that they weren’t even in America, two Chinese adults were forcing the idea of Harvard and Yale on their son, thousands of miles away from either Harvard or Yale.
The globalization of the idea about higher education gives insight into how important higher education is. Most people in the united states can tell you without fail that higher education is entirely necessary if you want to get ahead in life. A 2002 census bureau investigation shown that college graduates earn almost twice as much over their lifetimes as high school gradates. In the past few decades, the enrollment of students in community college has raised up steadily. In a recent study done by the Higher Education Research Institute, having a higher education degree can even go as far as improving your mental and physical health. There are probably hundreds more benefits of having a higher education, so you might be asking, “what’s the problem than?”
The problem with higher education is that it’s a very traditional system that is very hard to change. With complaints about the soaring cost of a college education and the huge amount of debt that many students have to endure for decades after they get out, there is high pressure on our government to amend the topic of higher education. This is where much of the problem lies, it’s difficult to change the system in such drastic measures and not have reproductions for doing so. The debate in the state capitals and at Washington is pretty much over how much of the public money, if any, should be going towards making college more affordable.
What many people do not realize is just how restrictive higher education is. Who you become as an adult and the kind of impact that you would have on society is to a varying degree based on your success in university. At the same time how ever, which university or college you can enroll at is dependent on your economic standings. In a research done by Higher Education Research Institute, 67% of current college freshmen believe that their current economic standpoint affected the college they choose to attend. Almost 43% choose their college based on the cost of the school.
The problem here is that college student’s future is based on their current economic standing rather than their intellect or abilities. In fact, in terms of first choice schools, more and more people are opting out to attend a school more financially secure around their own economic standings. Close to 16% less high school graduates chose to go their second choice or third choice schools. Sacrificing your education for the purpose of saving a few dollars would mean that the school system itself is essentially broken.
The fact is that high education is flawed in so many ways, and to begin to approach this issue would require a great deal of effort both on our parts as citizen and student and the cooperation of congress and washington DC to decide what is the best move.