College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco

1393 Words3 Pages

The right and privilege to higher education in today’s society teeters like the scales of justice. In reading Andrew Delbanco’s, “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, it is apparent that Delbanco believes that the main role of college is to accommodate that needs of all students in providing opportunities to discover individual passions and dreams while furthering and enhancing the economic strength of the nation. Additionally, Delbanco also views college as more than just a time to prepare for a job in the future but a way in which students and young adults can prepare for their future lives so they are meaningful and purposeful. Even more important is the role that college will play in helping and guiding students to learn how to accept alternate point of views and the importance that differing views play in a democratic society. With that said, the issue is not the importance that higher education plays in society, but exactly who should pay the costly price tag of higher education is a raging debate in all social classes, cultures, socioeconomic groups and races. The biggest question or dispute regarding the cost of higher education is finding the appropriate monetary and economical equation to determine the percentage of personal and public responsibility. The above debate has been in question since the 1800’s when Thomas Jefferson stated; "I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness ”. Those important words that called attention to the importance of having an educated citizenry in order to preserve democracy are until this day, words by which legislator... ... middle of paper ... ... through the years after the Great Depression the Unites States staked a claim in the educational advancement of its citizenship in order to build a strong economy. However, unlike years past, public ownership and support of higher education has decreased in the face of growing inflation and the nations changing economy. In the words of Claiborne Pell, U.S. Senator of Rhode Island and sponsor of the Pell Grant, which provides financial aid to American college students, “The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people.” These words speak of the importance of education and the need for public support in order to continue America’s tradition of investment in our youth being an investment in our country.

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