Pros and Cons of Today's College Education Institutional affiliation: The current state of higher education in United States In the recent past, the state of higher education in the United States has been under the spotlight of deteriorating quality, high costs and turnover rates…
Universities and colleges that are in the middle class are torn between these extremes. Universities in the top strata have become a preserve for the minority few who are affluent. Attending universities like Harvard has been left to the few who can afford to pay the exorbitant fees. The divisions arising in institutions of higher learning have come to be viewed as a show of might and class, as well as a means by which the American plutarchy duplicates itself. Donoghue (nd) notes that top strata universities’ one year tuition fee is more than the average income of American citizens. Universities in the middle and bottom classes are continually grappling with budget cuts as the government strives to sustain the budget in times of economic downturns. Budget cuttings have severe implications for public colleges and universities as universities have to raise their tuition fees, reduce spending or both, in a bid to cover the gap. Cuts on higher education funding by the government have resulted in increased tuition across public institutions of higher learning. The acute increases in tuition fees have hastened the continuous trends of reducing college affordability and transferring the costs to students. Leachman et al (2013) note that enrolling for a four year course in a public institution of higher learning has momentarily grown at a quicker pace than the increase in average earnings for the past 20 years, even after tax subsidies and government aid. Reducing spending in a bid to match the budget cuts usually results in ways that lower the quality of higher education. Some of the ways in which public colleges and universities cut spending are such as closing some campuses, doing away with some course offerings, reducing services like computer laboratories and library. For illustration, following the budget cuts on public institutions of higher learning, Arizona university strategy to cut spending included closing its eight extension campuses facilitating distance learning, as well as cutting more that 2000 positions (Donologhue, nd). Public institutions of higher learning offer education to more that seventy five percent of the country’s undergraduates. Raising tuition fees and cutting spending have had negative impacts on the quality of education. Students are leaving school with huge public debt, yet find it hard to obtain a job. In addition, the top strata in United States system of higher education is resulting in half baked graduates, thus making employers spend more money in retraining graduates to match the job skills. This paper presents the shortcomings in the United States universities, opportunities for improvement, as well as recommendations on how to eliminate the shortcomings. Shortcomings Price sensitivity The earnings and incomes of majority of citizens have remained unchanged over the years, yet tuition fee increment rises at the same rate as inflation. This makes university education expensive and unaffordable to numerous households whose incomes remains stagnant while the cost of education keeps on rising. Demographic and economic pressures, as well as, heightened government inspection of higher education cost are resulting in slow tuition growth in many universities. Ongoing national government concessions results in further pressures on universities since a large number of students are dependent of government grants and loans, both of which are curtailed to a certain ...
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