Arthur C. Brooks presents his opinion on an idea gaining prevalence across the United States in his published article, “My Valuable, Cheap College Degree.” This new idea is a college degree which costs the student a total of $10,000, also known as the 10K-B.A. Inspired by a challenge to educators from Bill Gates, governors in the states of Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, and a state assemblyman in California have recently made efforts to make this idea a reality.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2011, the average tuition for just one year at a four-year private university was nearly $33,000. While the median inflation-adjusted household income fell by seven percent between 2006 and 2011, the average real tuition at public four-year colleges increased over that period by eighteen percent (1). To prove how rapidly the cost to attend college rose, researchers compared college tuition to the increasing cost of healthcare. Research showed that college tuition increased at twice the rate of healthcare costs over the past twenty-five years. While college tuition rapidly increased, average income fell, which left families in deeper debt with each upcoming year. High tuition costs make getting a college education unattainable for many low and middle income students. Luckily, thanks to an up-and-coming alternative to the typical college experience, there is now a chance for some of these students to pursue their dreams of higher education.
“The 10K-B.A. rethinks the costliest part of higher education – the traditional classroom teaching” (1); instead, there is a higher reliance on online and distance-learning alternatives to make the cost of higher education more affordable. Prior to publication of “My Valua...
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...song adds to the overall experience of going to college. However, Brooks’ argument reflects that not everyone is looking for that experience.
Society should not look upon the 10K-B.A. as a negative option. There are many positives that come from earning any college degree. “The entrepreneurs who see a way for millions to go to college affordably are the ones who understand the American dream. That dream is the opportunity to build a life through earned success. That starts with education” (3). In reality, not all Americans can afford a brick and mortar education, but as Arthur Brooks demonstrated in his article, the 10K-B.A. provides an alternative way for students to earn a college degree and start their way to the American dream.
Brooks, Arthur C. “My Valuable, Cheap College Degree.” The New York Times. The New York
Times, 31 Jan. 2013. Web.