How to Make Higher Education Affordable Again
Rising tuition is caused by cuts in government spending, increased university spending and financial aid. According to ScienceDirect, “From the 2000-2001 to 2015-2016 academic years, tuition, fees, and housing costs at four-year institutions rose 67% and 43% at private public non-profit universities.” Those are some high percentages in just a few years and imagine how high they will keep rising in the future. There are a few ways that we can make higher education affordable again by increasing government spending, cut university spending, and by fixing the student loan and grant system.
First, the government needs to increase government funding in colleges and universities. The cuts in the government funding for colleges have made some schools have to cut certain programs and courses, faculty reductions, and even have to close some campuses because they can’t afford to have the resources or the expenses. One thing colleges can do is work with other colleges by offering combined programs and classes on both campuses or just one. This will save them money by not having to spend more money on paying a faculty staff member. The government funding was hit hard when the United States hit the recession, the state funding was hit pretty hard in some states. As the government funding keeps decreasing the price to attend colleges have risen and families can’t afford to send their kids to college. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “state lawmakers must renew their commitment to high-quality, affordable public higher education by increasing the revenue these schools receive. By doing so, they can help build a stronger middle class and develop the entrepreneurs and skilled workers needed for a strong state economy.” The state funding cuts have been hit the most and schools make up with it by increased tuition. The way the government can make funding increase is by state and local tax revenue.
Second, campuses need to cut down on university spending. Campuses need to have budgets and learn how to save money. Universities spend more money on making tuition going higher and having the best resources for students that they do not care what their students have to pay for college and other costs. Bigger universities spend more of their money on things that will attract students to come to their school instead of learning how to use their resources by saving money. Many colleges have the authority to make their tuition go up higher and how much a student will have to pay. This is not fair to the students who want to be able to afford college and not be in debt as soon as they graduate. Most of university spending is on faculty salaries and benefits, student activities, libraries, and admissions. Colleges can save money by cutting back on some student activities and use the money towards funding for lower income students to attend their college by awarding more scholarships that will help pay for tuition. According to Benjamin Ginsberg of Washington Monthly, “one thing that has changed is the administrator-to-student ratio. In 1975, it went from one administrator for every eighty-four students and one professional staffer for every fifty students. By 2005, the administrator-to-student ratio had dropped to one for every sixty students while the professional staffers had dropped to one every twenty-one students.” That is a very drastic change in administrators-to-student ratio. Colleges can cut back on hiring so many administrators and hire qualified professors to teach the students. Also, they can host charity events or events to round money up for better resources for students, by helping them get the materials they need for school.
Lastly, the student loan and grant system need to be dealt with and fixed. Both of these are big parts of what pays for college in the United States. A big challenge for lower income students is how they can pay for college. The federal aid for these students is having less and less purchasing power for each year and it means that lower income students have to pay more out of pocket than they can afford. This also means that students may not be able to finish college or even get their degree. Pell grants are based off of how much money a family may bring in for the household. There are certain guidelines that students have to follow to even qualify for grants or loans. According to the Affordable Care Act, “ensures that low-income families receive tax credits, so they don’t have to cover all costs of college.” The government needs to set up some guidelines that make standards reasonable for a family to be able to get the grants or loans to help pay for college. Also, the government should really increase the number of grants or loans awarded to students. They can give more money to students to help pay to attend college or a university.
In conclusion, rising tuition is going to keep rising until students find better ways to make it affordable to lower income families. The government needs to increase government funding, decrease university spending and fix the grant and loan system. The students of the future are going to be the ones to make tuition go down and they will come up with ways to make college affordable again.
Anonymous. “College Places at Risk Due to Government Funding Cuts.” Horticulture Week 2015. ProQuest. Web. 19 Apr. 2018 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/docview/1708560951?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3AprimoDespard R. Mathieu, Perantie Dana, Taylor Samuel, Grinstein-Weiss Michal, Friedline Terri, Raghawan Ramesh. “Student debt and hardship: evidence from a large sample of low-and-moderate-income household.” University of Michigan, Washington University of St. Louis, University of Kansas. 28 Apr 2016. ScienceDirect. Web. 18 Apr. 2018 https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/science/article/pii/S0190740916302705?via%3DihubGinsberg, Benjamin. “Administrators ate my tuition: want to get college costs in line? Start cutting overgrown management ranks.” Washington Monthly. Sept-Oct. 2011. P. 48+. AcademicOneFile. Web. 18 Apr. 2018 http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CA266940636&v=2.1&u=birm97026&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&authCount=1#Mitchell, Michael, Leachman Micheal, Masterton Kathleen. “A Lost Decade in Higher Education Funding.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Aug 23, 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2018 https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/a-lost-decade-in-higher-education-fundingWerth, Barry. “Why is College so Expensive?” Change, vol. 26, no. 3, May/Jun94 pp. 55-56. EBSCOhost. Web. 19 Apr. 2018. http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=d86cc333-31d7-466e-9ca1-e33609facddf%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=9407150375&db=aph