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The Higher Education System or Lack Thereof

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The higher education system (or lack thereof) is not serving the country and its citizens. The increasing number of admission standards, exponential tuition increases, the financing of the cost through loans, and the boasting of turning students away all contribute to rising disparity between the quality of education that upper class families can afford compared to lower and middle income families. The rising costs of higher education in this country are problematic in that they fuel a disparity between economic classes. Capitulating the problem is the amount of debt college graduates have accrued at the time of graduation. The Institute for College Access and Success (2013) reported that 70% of graduates had and average of $29,400 of debt. This number primarily focuses on non-profit and private institutions. The average annual salary of a college graduate is $57,616 (United States Department of Labor, 2014). So many college graduates have accumulated a debt worth half of what their starting salary may end up being. The Institute for College Access and Success (2013) reported that 20% of that debt “is comprised of private loans, which are typically more costly and provide fewer consumer protections and repayment options than safer federal loans3” (p. 1). This is an oversimplification in that it is looking at a very general population. Based on the degree and the subsequent employment, income will vary as does the institution attended and the student’s economic status affect the overall individual debt. Loans, of course, need to be paid back by students, and this ultimately affects the students’ quality of life after graduation as a certain amount of their income will go to paying off their loans. This also has socio... ... middle of paper ... ...h and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books. Reich, R. (2012a, March 7). College is key to success [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/commentary/college-key-success Reich, R. (2012b, May 18). The commencement address that won’t be given [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://robertreich.org/post/23301640941 Sandel, M. J. (2009). Justice: What's the right thing to do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The Institute for College Access & Success. (2013, December). Student Debt and the Class of 2012. Retrieved from The Project on Student Debt: http://projectonstudentdebt.org/files/pub/ classof2012.pdf United States Department of Labor. (2014, March 24). Employment Projections. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm
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