The Cost of Higher Education Essay

3161 words - 13 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed
VIEW DOCUMENT
Preview

Introduction

The increasing cost of higher education in the United States has been a continuing topic for debate in recent decades. American society emphasizes the importance of education after high school, yet the cost of undergraduate and advanced degrees continually rises at a greater rate than inflation. According to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, cost factors prevent 48% of college-qualified high school graduates from pursuing further education (McKeon, 2004, p. 45). The current system requires the majority of students to accumulate extensive debt with the expectation that they gain lucrative post-graduate employment to repay their loans.

The cost of higher education raises several ethical issues. Among these are the perpetuation of the cycle of debt in American commercial society, the hierarchy of differing higher education institutions and cost, and the resulting socioeconomic and racial inequities in college demographics. Both an examination of the current trends and figures and a closer look at a real life example show the troublesome state of higher education and its effect on our commercial society.

The Facts about Cost, Financial Assistance, and Loans

Research indicates a steep upward trend in the cost of higher education throughout the 20th century. In recent decades, America has witnessed a widening gap between inflation and tuition. An incoming freshman at a typical college incurs charges for tuition, university fees, books, room and board, and other miscellaneous items. During the 1999-2000 academic year the total cost of attendance for full time undergraduates at a 2-year institution averaged $9,083, a 4-year public institution equaled $12,601, and a 4-year private institution totaled $23,617 (Berkner, 2003, p. 75).

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, 1999-2000
Institution Type Tuition and fees $ Non-tuition expenses $ Total price of attendance $
Public 2-year 1,558 7,525 9,083
Public 4-year 4,251 8,354 12,601
Private not-for-profit 15,031 8,570 23,617
Private for-profit 8,919 9,438 18,360
(Berkner, p. 73)

Since the mid 1980s, student fees have increased at a rate approximately double the rate of inflation (Hauptman, 1997, p. 24). A 1996 study by the General Accounting Office indicates a 234 percent increase in tuition and fees at public institutions and a 220 percent increase at private universities since 1980. This compares to an 80 percent increase in inflation since 1980 (Barry, 1998, p. 39). Families today spend a considerably larger percentage of their family income on college than families two decades ago. In 1979, the average four-year tuition at a public college consumed approximately 36 percent of a family’s annual income, while a private university consumed 84 percent. By 1994, the percentages jumped to 60 and 156 respectively (Reiland, 1996, p. 36). In addition to increases in tuition, an attitude shift in...

Find Another Essay On The Cost of Higher Education

The Cost of a Legal Education

1846 words - 7 pages Introduction A higher education in law is not only competitive, but it is also very expensive. As a prelaw undergraduate student, I plan to go to law school in the next two years. However, I am looking at what is the possibility of attending law school without the financial support of heavy student loans. Based on the academic journals that I have read, the cost of a higher education in law is constantly raising. Majority of the students that...

The Proper Usage Of Technology For Higher Education Today, The

1519 words - 6 pages The Proper Use of Technology for Higher Education Today, the advancements and the spread of media and information technologies are bringing college students closer to new realities in contemporary society. Technology has become a crucial component in curricula throughout the nation. Every college in the U.S. is spending million of dollars to provide students with the best and the latest technological advancements. What are the best uses of...

The Value of Critical Research in Higher Education

2323 words - 9 pages Critical inquiry can add depth to our knowledge of higher education and the inequities inherent within our current educational system. This depth comes from the insights critical inquiry brings to light by looking at how the majority or group in power uses their power to make it seem socially acceptable to discriminate against minorities and keep inequitable systems in place. Critical inquiry looks at those on the inequitable side of the...

An Examination of the Goals of Higher Education

1355 words - 5 pages Introduction Higher education exists to produce knowledge. This mission is accomplished by researchers and teachers, working in cooperation, with the goal of producing educated citizens. It is through research, innovation, and teaching that we improve our society. Education of the whole person was one of the earliest goals of higher education. Today there are many competing goals that influence the missions and funding philosophies tied to...

The Adoption of Enrollment Management Practices in Higher Education

1050 words - 4 pages discounts to students who are more “academically qualified” (p. 1594). This only reduces the cost of attendance to those who are from high SES backgrounds, as opposed to those for whom a discount would provide access otherwise not available. Kraatz et al. (2010) see enrollment management as a tool associated with inevitable drawbacks that threaten the goals and underlying mission of higher education. Through EM practices such as branding the...

The Importance Of Higher Education Among Law Enforcement Officers

1662 words - 7 pages technology, education has benefits elsewhere in the equation of remaining competitive. Education on the higher tiered level provides a professionalism to accompany by the demands placed on students during their scholastic years of study. Activities required by many professors in the higher education realm provide skills needed to polish the individual for his or her place in society. Is this now so hard to conceive that law enforcement may also have...

How Exactly To Lessen The Cost Of College Education

735 words - 3 pages mass destruction, the military sends troops to stabilize the nation. As of 2009, the cost of Iraq war is a staggering $680 billion. Yet, after five years, the President has not succeeded in fulfilling his objectives, putting all that money spent to waste. If the money had been spent on education instead, it could have provided millions of people with plenty of financial aid. In spite of these difficulties, however, college education should be a...

The Greed for Money in Higher Education

2616 words - 10 pages With all due respect to the policy commission board. In the column of your highest rank, as a senior college student, I will be mentioning some problems and most important crisis that today’s higher education is facing. Hundreds and thousands of books have been published and going to be published in the future that shed light on the crisis of higher education, but did any of these books change the higher education the way we look today? College...

The Higher Education System or Lack Thereof

2407 words - 10 pages The higher education system (or lack thereof) is not serving the country and its citizens. The increasing number of admission standards, exponential tuition increases, the financing of the cost through loans, and the boasting of turning students away all contribute to rising disparity between the quality of education that upper class families can afford compared to lower and middle income families. The rising costs of higher education in this...

The Need For Higher Education In Brazil

2333 words - 9 pages enormous if they can surpass steep costs and introduce quality into the market. Published in the Yearly article by the OECD, People with higher education can expect to earn 55% more on average in OECD countries than a person without tertiary education. The problem in Brazil is not that people don’t want to go to school, in fact people in Brazil are more interest in education than that of the United States. (Graph 7) The opportunity cost of...

Higher Education In Pakistan Vs. The UK

1069 words - 4 pages The state of higher education: Pakistan in comparison with the UK After partition, Pakistan, an independent state came into being in 1947 and inherited a colonial university system, created by the British. The fundamental features of this system during that era were that it was under-financed, bureaucratic, and mediocre and was teaching rather than research oriented. Just then, the country had a poorly educated population and few schools...

Other The Cost of Higher Education Essays

The Importance Of Higher Education Essay

1386 words - 6 pages The world has advanced considerably through out the decades and the need for higher education has been on the rise. Education is treasured in all parts of the world especially in the United States. However, higher education costs have been rising dramatically throughout the years leaving people in the United States to wonder if higher education is really worth the cost or not. According to the IES National Center for Education Statistics the...

The Benefits Of Higher Education Essay

2264 words - 9 pages Higher education in the United States arose as an answer to the need to train clergy for the seminary. Throughout the centuries, higher education has evolved to become one of the principal means in educating individuals in specific areas of study. Individuals seek higher education to become more proficient in a particular occupation, area of study, or as a requisite for employment or advancement in specific fields such as engineering...

Foundations Of Higher Education Essay

1289 words - 5 pages It is evident that higher education in the United States has gone through a tremendous transformation since its origins in the mid 1600’s. From schools whose only function was the training of ministers to the contemporary university of free and open access, both society and culture have had tremendous effects on the evolution of higher education in America. This paper will explore those transformations as related by the themes woven through...

Purpose of higher education Essay

670 words - 3 pages It would appear that the argument for higher education is not one that too many people would contradict in today’s American Society. Higher education is a means to greater opportunity, better lifestyle and a higher standard of individuals that make up our culture. Yet somehow in the past few decades the journey towards a better society through better education seems to have lost its focus. While college reforms were busying about trying to make...