Survey shows that more and more families are shying away from private colleges. Apparently, the current cost of tuition is too high for the average American household to afford without financial aid. This is despite the fact that salary has gone up; thereby boosting consumer spending and helping the economy.
Students’ Choice vs. Tuition Cost
According to a study done in North Carolina, about 40% of the entire college population would have been qualified to attend selective colleges. However, none of them did and instead settled on a college that would meet their financial requirements.
Top schools in America continue to have an application process that is blind to the needs of students. This means that despite your need and qualifications to get education from a top university, if you don’t have the mean you will not be able to. Hence, the 40% of supposedly qualified students are forced to enroll in places with smaller endowments but are less costly.
While college financial aid and merit-based scholarships still exist, they are normally offered to students with the lowest incomes. This what worries the average working-class families.
The study concludes that these days, money is the number one factor for deciding which college to attend. While it is possible to get student loans just to attend your college of choice, experts say that it is too risky. In many cases, students had to spend the next ten or twenty years working to pay for the student loans incurred during college.
Universities Admit Middle-Class Getting the Least Attention
An admission director at Pomona College openly admits that the middle-class are getting the least attention. These are the families whose annual income exceeds the maximum accepted to qualify for financial help. However, there are the same families who cannot afford the high cost of tuition in private universities.
In the current state of the economy, students have one goal the moment they enter college and that is to graduate and get a job. That’s quite a long time before they get to earn. But with the high cost of tuition and the current treatment middle-class families are getting, nearly half of American students drop out even before getting their degrees. This is information based on the study from Harvard.
In order to better the chances of enrollment, there is a lot of work to be done. Student loans are essential tools but they should come with lower interest rates. Universities need to create better programs for middle-class families. After all, the future of the US economy depends on its graduates.