It is true that there is a positive correlation between the most important socio-economic outcomes like family steadiness, economic well-being, social networks as well as health and the level of education. Stanley, 678: Hout, 378 agrees that there is a significant likelihood that a learned individual will be more successful as compared to the uneducated fellow. However, we cannot say that every educated person will succeed in this life (Hout, 378: Boehner and Howard, 156) mainly due to lack of employment opportunities. Due to above facts, I suggest that it is right to regard education as a platform that provides equal chances to acquire knowledge to all. College education aims at equipping an individual with specialized skills in a particular field of interest to such an individual. Social returns to college education outweigh individual returns. Education impacts groups and individual who have minimal chances of pursuing college education more than traditional college students (Hout, 378). Boehner and Howard, 156: Stanley, 678: Becker, 349 claims that these persons’ chances of chasing college education are limited mostly by the cost involved among other factors. This paper examines college education in respective to the cost involved.
Elements of Cost
Attaining college education is costly and the cost is rising day by day, and it will not decrease unless the government implements a major overhaul to the learning system like paying the entire cost charged rather than subsidizing (Becker, 349: Hout, 378). The cost charged by most colleges consist of; first- tuition which bears the larger proportion of the entire cost. It is the fee a college requires for offering the instructions (Stanley, 678). According to Stanley, 678: Becker, 349: Boehner and Howard, 156, the cost of training depends on the units a student is set to take in an academic year. Out-of-state students pay doubles or even higher what in-state students pay. Tuition can vary depending on the program an individual is learning. Secondly, colleges charge a fixed fee for services like a library, athletic facilities, and transportation. Housing and accommodation levies are the charges for student living on their premises. Books and school supplies, here they include costs such as computer and computer accessories as well as books (Stanley, 678: Hout, 378). Also, colleges may indicate in their fee structures, certain expenses which they do not bill students for like transportation and personal expenses.
Trend of Cost Involved
When acquiring college education involve certain cost that keeps on increasing over time locking out many prospect students who are willing to learn. This rate mainly affects the middle class who cannot afford to tuition fees of many universities and colleges especially those who do not qualify for government subsidies (Boehner and Howard, 156: Becker, 349). Attaining college education is at the moment is costly and it expected to get worse. Figures from College Board indicates that for the year 2014/2015, the average cost of tuition and other fees at a government university for the out-of-state student was $22,598 and for an in-state student was $9,139. For private institutions in the same period, the cost was much higher at an average of $31,231. The Board also in college pricing survey claims that an average budget for government college during the same period to be $24,061 and $47,831 for a private university (Boehner and Howard, 156). These figures show the increasing cost of college education which is unforgiving to many potential students lacking the financial capacity.
With such rate of increasing costs, estimation over the next 20 years, for the cost of tuition for an in-state student to a four-year degree program it would cost $39,508. While an out-of-state student would part with $97,690 and $135,010 for a student in the private university attending the same degree program (Boehner and Howard, 156: Hout, 378). Given this figures, when we factor other costs such as books and learning materials, housing and accommodation as well as other items and personal effects, it is right to state that college education is becoming out of reach for many middle-income earners. Even though this trend keeps on rising, possessing no education is by far more dangerous. Lack of educated citizens would limit the capacity of America to compete effectively and efficiently in the global stage. As such, Becker 349: Boehner and Howard, 156: Stanley, 678 argue that as much as the government would try to bridge the gap it is paramount for individuals to seek knowledge not only learning institutions but also in facilities that promote understanding such as state and national libraries.
Factors that make the cost of college education to increase are; 1- college inflation rate. All the four sources agree that college inflation rate is the single major cause of this trend. Both private and public learning institutions, they have their college inflation rate that computes the tuition and fees increment annually. Boehner and Howard, 156: Hout, 378: Becker, 349 and Stanley, 678 agrees that college’s inflation rate is usually higher than the average increase in personal incomes as well as the general inflation rate. It is greater so as to maintain a surplus reserve to cater for any contingency that may arise in future. 2- The cost of sustaining specific programs. Specific programs are extremely expensive to run and maintain since they require specialized equipment. The cost of such programs will increase and consequently increase the cost of acquiring a college education. Lastly, the price will rise by the increasing cost of college sports. Institutions are putting much emphasize in their sporting activities such that they are hiring highly trained coaches to instruct their teams (Becker, 349: Stanley 678). This cost increases the fees charged on athletics facilities resulting to the overall increment of the cost of college education.
This trend of cost of a college education may have undesirable impacts on a nation. It may inhibit a country ability to compete globally due to lack of individuals possessing certain specialized skills. Lack of prerequisite specified talents in a distinct field will trace back to the prohibitive cost of college education which proves to be a stumbling block to many students aspiring to learn but lack the necessary funds (Becker, 349: Hout, 378: Stanley, 678). It may lead to segregation of the society in that college education may be seen as a reserve only for the students who have qualified for government subsidies or for those huge financial muscles such that they can pay. A Certain portion of the society may feel segregated by the education system functioning thus leading to discontent in the society. The high cost of a college education can as well raise the poverty index in a country. As such, education is the most useful tool to tackle poverty, concurs Hout, 378: Becker, 349.
In conclusion, Hout, 378: Stanley, 678 argues that selection and stratification concepts developed doubts concerning whether the learning in realism causes any good thing to happen. Since colleges and schools choose who proceeds and who does not, it was easy to think that education adds a little substance to an individual (Hout, 378). Investing in education pays off in numerous ways for an individual. Hence, this paper notes that education is a necessity whose price should reduce to be affordable for everyone to enjoy equal opportunity in accessing it. Therefore illiteracy will reduce so is the poverty.
Becker, Gary S. "Underinvestment in college education?." The American Economic Review (1960): 346-354.
Boehner, John A., and Howard P. McKeon. "The College Cost Crisis: A Congressional Analysis of College Costs and Implications for America's Higher Education System." (2003): 150-162
Hout, Michael. "Social and economic returns to college education in the United States." Annual Review of Sociology 38 (2012): 379-400.
Stanley, Marcus. "College education and the midcentury GI Bills." The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2003): 671-708.
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