With a son in college and three others to follow in the coming years, higher education and its value has been the subject of decades for us. I have spent many years planning with the client for the possibility of paying for College and now, as a parent to pay, I can tell you that writing a check every year is the painful, frustrating and quite frankly make you question its value.
With the global market to be just that, global, competition for jobs has never been more fierce. The current recession in the u.s. and Europe only intensifies the hunt a job for those who attended the first exit. This is that delays in starting the careers of which may be financial problems that will take years to catch up from. It is now many are questioning the value of education and the process of actually getting an education.
After World War II troops returning from the war were able to attend college with the help of the GI Bill. Since then our society has deemed that HIGH SCHOOL graduates continue on to College as usual. Four years spent in the Bachelor's program is considered a growth experience, the opportunity to explore different materials, expanding the horizons, in short, find one myself.
When tuition fees represent the allocation of single digit bylaws, pay for your kid "to find himself" it can be done. However, according to the survey Help Fin, in every period of 17-1958-2001, the annual inflation rate average tuition is between 6% and 9%, ranging from 1.2 times general inflation to 2.1 times general inflation. On average, schools tend to increase around 8% per year. A college level 8% inflation mean that tuition fees have doubled every year nine. With tuition to private liberal arts colleges is now running in the range of $ 50,000 and a State College in the range of $ 24,000, this fee increase has made a college education difficult to most middle-class families, and an impossible dream for many low-income families.
What can we do?
Well, let's start by distinguishing different levels of education. It is already a given that in this country every citizen has access to K-12 education class. When it comes to post high school education, I think we can learn from the European system and a segment of part of our education system is different. First, the education at the college level should not be seen as an experience "book learning". Not every student is capable of or desire to sit in the classroom and learning. Learn a trade, although it is available through several schools, it is still seen as sub-par and not for the "smart" kids. Let's face it the College's business and profits drive the bottom line. Two year certification mechanics accompanied with a profit margin much lower then a four-year degree.
The impetus to push our children to College four years does not seem to ever more important as the number is clearly indicated on the unemployment figures for the month of August 2011. Statistics show that there is an unemployment rate of 14.2% for those with less than high school level, the level of 10.2% for those with a high school degree but no college degree, level of 8.7% to some degree and the level of 4.6% unemployment for those with a Bachelor's degree and higher.
That makes me upset is that the four-year colleges spend time forcing students to reclaim their lesson is complete in high school to extend their time in college with sometimes as many as two years to just get the basics covered before they begin to focus on a major. Why not have a b.a. College became the first step in introducing students to the career path possible. Whether it's accounting, nursing or law, let the college experience really being hands on training versus esoterical subject matter that ultimately have no relevance with their livelihood.
I am afraid that we continue business as usual and more of our young people will be left without work or job prospects, will be left out of the American Dream and while the street protests and violence has been a hallmark of youth in foreign countries against their exclusion, the same problems and explosions are not inevitable here in the us if we ignore the fact that the middle class is shrinking as our, education costs continue to escape the reach of many people in our country, social unrest will surely come to our beach.