With rising college costs, increased bipartisan support for alternatives
Education in our society has been increasingly in demand throughout the past couple decades. In 2014 the immediate college enrollment rate reached about 68%. The amount of students that have immediately enrolled in college after high school has raised almost 10% since the 1990’s. With the rise in demand for a post-secondary education, there has also been a rise in the cost. The average cost for an academic year in a public university has increased about 296% in the past 20 years to about $24,061. For a private university it is has increased about 179% in the past 20 years to about $47,831.
Recently Betsy DeVos has been selected to become the next Secretary of Education. DeVos does not have any experience in higher education and although she has not mentioned any specific policy that she would enact for higher education, she is said to be rather supportive of community colleges. This would follow the current administration’s plan to make community college free.
The cost of community college is significantly lower at about $2,963 according to CollegeBoard. The demand for a 2 year degree is projected to increase by 2020, while jobs with a master’s degree or better are projected to stay the same. With today’s educational standards about 30% of all jobs will requires some college or an associate’s degree, leaving job security irrelevant in making a decision in post-secondary education.
Students have been running into unavoidable problems with student debt at four-year universities. On average it is taking college students around 21 years to pay off their student loans. This is a problem that is not taken into consideration as often as it needs to be when looking for post-secondary education. Alternatives to four-year institutions are not investigated by the average high school graduate, and students wind up paying for it for a majority of their adult lives.