A Higher Education
Not many decades ago it was a rarity to attend college. Many people didn??™t finish high school; let alone go on to achieve a higher education. Even up until recently if you got a Bachelor??™s degree you were set. But today this is not the case. Society has created a stigma that a college degree is necessary for success. Because of this idea college applicants and tuitions have increased and a bachelor??™s degree will soon be the equivalent of a high school diploma. Because of the economy and peoples??™ desires for high socioeconomic standing colleges are losing their founding importance of a higher education. The road to college has become so competitive and expensive; some people are going to extreme lengths to get in, and others don??™t feel they have a chance and are just giving up. There needs to be a change in the higher education system or it will continue to spiral out of control.
It is a dog eat dog world we live in; and everyone is fighting for a piece of paper acknowledging his or her right to success. Although everyone is created equal, this fight in unfair. In this world everything comes down to money; and unfortunately you have to have it to get it. College is extremely expensive and some people cannot afford it. According to a survey in USA Today, 67% of people qualified for college do not have the opportunity to attend. This is because they cannot afford it. People with low incomes either cannot afford college and don??™t attend-meaning they don??™t get a well paying job; or they get tons of loans to go and graduate with a load of debt. This is especially detrimental in today??™s economy because it is so tough to find a good job. A class system has been clearly defined and has become rigid. If you are in poor socioeconomic standing you are stuck there. People in high socioeconomic standing can afford to go to college and in turn are able to get well paying jobs. According to Gerald Bracey, ???the acquisition of a degree is taking on the character of a hereditary privilege.??? This is unfair and has become a vicious cycle.
Having money doesn??™t only help to pay for college; it also helps pay to GET IN to college. With getting accepted into college becoming so competitive, everybody is looking for a way to get a leg up on the other applicants. People are going to great lengths to work the system and figure out how to look the best on paper. Parents are pushing their kids to take AP classes and to get involved in school more, paying for tutors and Princeton reviews, test preps, SAT courses, and even doing their homework for them. Parents are helping their kids to cheat-in order for them to get a higher education. What about that makes any sense They are contradicting ideals and the whole point of high school and college has been lost.
The competitors in this fight for a higher education aren??™t just unequal in financial standing; they are also unequal in intelligence. Not everyone is smart enough to graduate high school, let alone proceed to a university. But, because society has made it so a degree is necessary for success more and more people find it imperative to go to college- even if they are not qualified. High schools are lowering their exit standards so that more people can graduate. And according to Richard Smelter, colleges are lowering their entrance standards in order to accept more people and make a profit; they are ???dumbing??? themselves down, and very soon college will be the new high school. Some may say that this is ok and it gives everyone a fair opportunity for education, but this contradicts the original purpose of a higher education. The educational value and meaning of college is being lost.
Something must be done to stop the decomposition of our educational system before it reaches the point of no return. In these times our focus should not only be on making our economy better but also our higher educational systems- because they go hand in hand. According to the survey in USA Today, 53% – Say colleges could spend less and still maintain quality and 55% – Say colleges worry more about the bottom line than educational mission. If colleges think about that and start making efforts to fix it, that would be a step in the right direction. As a whole, society needs to be in this mission together. To right this wrong, society needs to re-evaluate its priorities for our present state and future. Together if we stop obsessing about the value of money and instead regain the value of a true education, we will be on our way to positive changes.