For the past few weeks now I’ve been discussing rising tuition at universities and posed the question of whether college education is viewed as a right or a privilege. One of the side effects of rising tuition is less diversity on campuses as students from lower and middle-income classes are often the most impacted by tuition increases. Diversity is actually something that many people encourage, as there are many benefits. On a list of 10 reasons diversity is needed on college campuses, the final reason listed is “the majority of Americans support race-conscious policies in higher education”.
So, I don’t think that there is a theory needed to help bring this side effect to an end because many people don’t oppose diversity on campuses.
However, there needs to be a solution and balance found to allow universities to function well and have money to afford the staff and resources that are needed in order to provide students with a quality education but not while continuing to raise tuition every year and increasing student debt.
One possible solution is to increase the amount of grants, particularly for students who do not have the financial resources to afford college. As I’ve discussed, many of the people who miss out on postsecondary education opportunities are those coming from low-income backgrounds who might not have parents who have attended college. The government could increase Pell grants which is designed for first generation college students.
State legislatures could also increase merit-based scholarships to state universities that serve particularly lower-and middle-income students. In Georgia, the HOPE scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. There is no limit to how many students can receive the HOPE Scholarship, the only requirements are that they graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA while in college, and attend a public or private university in Georgia.
If all states had scholarships resembling this, they could increase the amount of students staying in state to attend universities and receive more money for their universities, and students would have more financial help and further incentive to do well in school in order to keep receiving their scholarship.
What are your oppositions to these theories I’ve stated? Do you have any suggestions on ways we can prevent tuition from rising too much or help lessen student debt?