Should Higher Education Be More Accessible?

graduationThe issue of high education costs and high interest rates on student loans affects everyone, because education right now is considered a luxury, but it is a necessity of achieving a higher standard of living and reaching a certain status in the hierarchy of society. Knowing about how education will affect an individual’s life is an issue that should be taken personally. The issue of inaccessible education is a critical point in the present time. There is the position of education being made free or more affordable, and then there is the current position of education being a commodity subject to the economy and capitalism strategies. Higher education should be free or made accessible to people no matter their economic status, because it is a variable that affects a person’s life opportunities and quality of living.

Education is a way to a better life and a better standard of living because of the higher income jobs that open up to the graduates of higher education. Education is the key to success, and yet students are facing the increasing cost of higher education, which puts them in the position of not being able to access success. Asking if college is worth the debt, Tyler Kingkade discusses how because of the high cost of education, both tuition and debt wise, students are becoming less likely to continue further education or to even start it, even if education will improve their lives. The high cost is a deterrent. Unfortunately, this shows how less people will be finishing higher education due to the cost and debt, and they will settle for less opportunity and income. Only 57% of the population thinks that getting a higher education is a good choice.  This declining good opinion of higher education is the opposite of what should really be happening in terms of people actually increasing their quality of life. Education becomes less accessible both through price and interest rates. Along with the higher cost of tuition, fees, books, and economically affected housing, cars, and food, they are also facing a future burdened with an increased debt load and higher interest rates. When only attempting to increase their likelihood of having a stable, prosperous, and productive life, they are also increasing the likelihood of indentured servitude to the privileged few who want the masses to keep their wheel turning, by keeping them in debt and owing money for a good majority of their lives. This lack of control from their entrance into college, with the start of student loans and interest, to their first job, where their payments will be for those loans and interests, to throughout their lives, a portion of their income will go to paying off an education that hopefully would have increased their life potential, opportunities, and chances. If everyone was able to access higher education, they’d qualify for better jobs and more opportunities, and their quality of life will increase. This is good for a society as a whole when each individual is prosperous, and knowledge also empowers. It will make for a prosperous, knowledgeable, and empowered society. In essence, providing higher education produces a stronger society.

One reason why higher education isn’t made available to all people is that the tuition and fees are a way for the university to participate in the capitalist model of the economy. The university earns profit margins too. Another reason why higher education isn’t made available is that limiting access to education makes for a relatively small minority who can make it to the top and earn a substantial amount of income. Those at the top don’t want everyone having an income because it will empower and educate the population. In a continuation of limiting education, when students owe a higher interest rate on the principal of their student loans, the excess interest, is good funding for the federal government’s bank box in terms of the federal deficit, but while they are making education harder to get and more expensive and at a higher cost and cutting back, they aren’t limiting themselves in any other area.

Education should be accessible, and society should not be limiting success to a select few; only those who can afford it. There are several reasons why education should be easily attainable by all social classes, and one of those is that a degree is becoming more required for advancement in society. . According to Lauren Young, people who are able to obtain higher education move up in income, and someone who is low income can move to middle income, and someone who’s middle income can move to high income. Education allows a gateway between social classes. In the same article, it says that the number of jobs requiring a higher education than high school is increasing. Young gives supporting evidence of why university education is important for reaching a level of income and increasing opportunities.

In yet another article that supports making higher education past high school more accessible, there are suggestions for implementation and strategy towards that goal. Karen Weise says, “Interest rates are just one piece of the student loan puzzle, and student loans are just one piece of the college affordability puzzle,” and in this statement, there is all the truth needed to summarize the point that education just needs to be taken more seriously. This Businessweek article proposes that debt repayment should be tied to income, loan limits should be tied to course study, federal funding should be given to colleges instead of to the students which would lower or eliminate the cost of education all together, and last to increase the Pell Grant amounts. These are all very viable options, but they would need to be taken seriously and actually implemented. Through these plans, an actual result would be the lowering of the cost of education.

An opportunity for a university education ensures that even those of with no financial support system can become doctors, lawyers, and teachers, any other profession they choose, without money being a factor in the decision process. The cost of education is rising, and according to Bruce Watson, “Americans owed more than 1 trillion in student loans” in 2011. Watson asks, “should it be shocking that almost one in five families is currently paying off student loans?”  At the same time, there is the rising cost of education, and as the Arizona Commission for Post Secondary Education says, “the average cost for tuition and fees at four-year public institutions has increased nearly 51% over the last 10 years.”  This shows how education needs to be more accessible and affordable, and incurring debt to pay for the increasing cost of tuition isn’t conducive to prosperous individuals or a prosperous society. A society that doesn’t value education for everyone except for a few who can afford it makes for one more sign that this is a sick society, and the system of lack of education needs changing. One of the changes that can be implemented is making education accessible to every single person, so they don’t have to worry how they will reach their goals and achieve a higher standard of life. While simultaneously offering education as a priority of society and educating the population, society will also be offering a higher standard of living and opportunities that are reachable. A prosperous individual makes for a prosperous society.

2 Comments to “Should Higher Education Be More Accessible?”

  1. Interesting piece, I agree that higher education should be more easily accessible but not free. Especially here in Hawaii where there is a very high cost of living and our tuition prices are also very high. For example in my family I attend a University, my brother is at college, my dad is taking his masters, and my younger brother and sister are both entering college next semester. With five people in my family attending college at the same time, it is nearly impossible to pay for tuition, if it were not for my father being a retired Marine and his children receiving tuition assistance I am pretty sure we would not be able to have the luxury of higher education. I feel that tuition prices should not be so high because it is definitely a major financial struggle to pay for. Growing up I would always hear go to school and get a good job, so I listened. After high school I saw many of my friends getting decent jobs and not attending college, while I was spending large amounts of money paying for school, they were making money. It makes me hope that paying all that money for my higher education will pay off in my future.

  2. I agree with your stance that higher education should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. Educating one’s country should be one of the highest priorities for the government. It is sickening that people are in a debt long after they receive their diplomas and have to work for so many years to pay it off. It doesn’t make any sense. No young adult should be thrown into the “real world” racked shoulder high in debt they cannot pay off, especially when getting a job after graduation (a good one anyway) has proven to be very difficult. I think we should take some (or a lot) of the money that is funding the war and put it towards education. Better to be a nation that fights with their brains than one that fights with guns, in my opinion anyway.

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