Synthesis Paper on Secondary Education

Topics: Higher education, College, University Pages: 5 (1720 words) Published: May 6, 2005
An Informative Look at a Financially Successful Future
College has always been an important step towards getting into a high paying job. Unfortunately, in most states, tuition is on the rise and students who do not come from wealthy homes find themselves a step or two behind. The next step they will take, however, will leave them even further behind the more financially set group. They have to somehow come up with the money to afford their well deserved education. By looking at the cause of rising tuition, grants, loans, and scholarships, it can be easily seen that tuition hikes are directly influencing students' school performance in a negative way.

First and foremost it is important to understand what is causing the rise in tuition. Richard Vedder of the National Review discussed the outlandish costs of college in an article titled, "A Fortune in Tuition." Vedder found that cost per student rose an alarming seventy percent in merely the last twenty years (par. 1). Surprisingly, this money is not going towards learning. It seems that tuition is rising because of two reasons. The first is a feeling of need for a better environment. On the average, increased tuition percentages have gone to help finance better buildings and new course offerings. Taking a look from an economic standpoint, it is a simple case of supply and demand. "When demand rises, relative to supply, prices (in this case tuition) go up." (par. 4) Demand for college has made a huge jump in the past few decades; more and more students want to go, and since the arrival of the community college, it's been possible.

When looking to pay for higher education, many students first look into grants, most often, Pell Grants. A grant, by definition is a gift of money for a specific reason. This reason is education and the gift giver is the government. Pell Grants are put into place for students who are considered low-income. Richard Vedder of National Review looked closely at the numbers and found that with Pell Grants diminishing, "Kids without money for college simply borrow it." (par. 3) The norm used to be grants and is quickly turning to more pricey ways. For the past two years the maximum amount a student could receive from a Pell Grant was $4,050. However, by looking at the average costs of universities, Pell Grants do not provide nearly enough. Adolph Reed Jr. of Academe agreed with Vedder and found that, "Pell Grants now cover only thirty-three percent of the total cost of attending an average two-year college, twenty-five percent of the cost at a four-year public college, and less than ten percent of the cost at a private four-year school." (par. 16) While grants still appear to be a way to obtain SOME financial help when paying for college it has become obvious that no student can attend college on Pell Grants alone. Looking at the Central Michigan website anyone can find out that the estimated annual cost of a Michigan resident to attend their university is $13,520. Meaning that at Central a Pell Grant would cover only thirty percent of a CMU student's tuition. A student working at Little Caesars who makes five dollars and thirty cents per hour would have to work two thousand two hundred and fifty one hours in one year to make up for the rest. That is seven hours a day three hundred and sixty five days a year. With a minimum twelve credit hours a semester, that doesn't leave much time for homework. Students who do not meet the criteria for these grants however are almost instantaneously forced to look into borrowing money with interest. This has turned many students to looking into loans.

Loans are scary, no matter if the person looking to get the loan is eighteen trying to find the right school for the right price or forty trying to find the right home for the right price. After looking at grants which is money that doesn't need to be paid back and contains no interest, loans are the exact polar opposite. As well as...

Cited: Vedder, Richard. "A Fortune in Tuition." National Review. New York: Oct 11, 2004.
Winter, Greg. "Drowning in a Sea of Debt." New York Times Upfront. March 7, 2003.
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