Higher education is the critical stage of transition between adolescence and adulthood. Higher education shapes the basis for further professional development and gives us a chance to make a good career. Higher education provides us with the basic knowledge and skills, which we can further use to achieve individual and professional goals. Finally, it is higher education that makes us more prepared to facing the issues of adulthood, and gives us a unique chance to escape poverty and inequality, to learn the value of diversity, as well as the principles of human relationships. Unfortunately, the rising cost of higher education is the major issue which potential students face, when trying to choose the best professional pathway. Many of them remain beyond the boundaries of higher education, which is unaffordable to them. Now, as more and more students find it difficult to pay for the benefits of higher education, it is the government’s task to develop effective aid programs and to share the costs of higher education with students and their families.
Contemporary business environment, competition, and technological advancement turn higher education into the critical element of one’s professional success. “At a time when even entry-level jobs often require a bachelor’s degree, hardly anyone disputes the importance of a college degree” (Block). Many parents continuously struggle with the need to pay for their children’s higher education, and at times of crisis these problems become even more difficult. Unfortunately, to have no college degree means to deprive oneself of a chance to make a good career. To have no higher education forever ties young individuals to jobs that do not require professional skills, are not paid well, and do not provide any career opportunities. In the atmosphere of the growing corporate competition, managers are extremely reluctant to hire and invest into their employees and are willing to have professional and well prepared staff.
The problem is, however, is not in that parents and students are not able to pay for their studies. The real problem is in that the state remains increasingly inactive about everything that concerns the system of higher education in the country. “State spending for public colleges and universities dropped sharply last year. […] At the same time, tuition and required fee charges rose significantly in many states, and some states reduced their student financial aid programs” (Trombley). Students and their parents currently face double pressures: on the one hand, the current financial crisis has significantly reduced their financial opportunities; on the other hand, the state itself seems to make everything possible to turn higher education into an unachievable dream. The government does not have any effective strategies that could work to expand young individuals’ opportunities to become students.
What seems to be true is that higher education is a part of the global marketplace. As a result, higher education cannot be free. Simultaneously, it is the government’s task to provide universities with sufficient material support, which will consequentially give students better admission chances. It should be noted, that “the major sources of revenue for universities include tuition, fee payments from students and families, appropriations and grants, private gifts and investment earnings; and sales from auxiliary enterprises” (Eckel & King), and now when investments or endowment may appear irrelevant, why not to share the costs which universities have to carry with the government? Certainly, this aid will be provided on a temporary basis. Moreover, it is very possible that universities may be required to pay back these debts in future; but given the importance of higher education and the role it plays for the future of the country, it is more than important that the state reconsiders its attitudes toward universities, and develops effective financial aid programs which universities and students would be able to use.
The growing cost of higher education is gradually turning it into an unachievable dream. As parents and students fight to overcome the lack of financial resources, states significantly reduce the amount of spending for public colleges and universities. Unfortunately, in the atmosphere of the growing competition, higher education is the critical component of one’s professional and individual success. Given the value of professional resources and the long-term positive impact which higher education produces on economic and social development, the government should develop effective temporary measures that would share the costs of higher education between families and the state, and would provide universities with additional funding at times of crises.