The Crisis in Higher Education: The Economic Outcome of Higher Education and Its Sources l. Abstract The amount of people attending any form of higher education is exceptionally higher than ever before, but the rate of completion has stayed stagnant for the past thirty years. L The accessibility of higher education has never been this easily attained but the obvious financial aftermath questions whether higher education is worth the losing of the opportunity costs.
For-profit schooling systems as well as the alternates as to how big universities leak money out from their students demonstrates the excelling importance and the overall meaning to obtain a college education. What students are trying to get out of college has changed over the past decade. The price of college has gone up 152 percent since 25 years ago and, at this rate, will only increase as time passes. The significance of what it meant to have a college education has declined over the last past decades.
The underlying root to the higher education crisis has to do with its continuous decline in value. Colleges, big universities, and for profit colleges invest in the economic side of education rather than proportioning the students. Due to quickly rising tuition and the increase in student loans, the crisis in the aftermath of college is only going to increase. A significant amount of American literature deem college to be important but also stress the financial problems that come with it, often not having a solution to it.
College is seen as being a necessity in the work force and is quickly gaining popularity in terms of participants but the constant leaking of money as well as the decline in spending towards the student’s and more towards the institutions is only creating a downward spiral in the value of higher education. Although college has become a necessity in society, through tenure professors, internationalization, and the increase in technology, higher education institutions are trying to find more ways to spend less money on their students and more money on finding ways to create profit.
II. Introduction It is no surprise that the cost of college influences peoples decision-making. The importance of going to college has significantly outweighed the financial burdens resulting in students taking loans for granted. Millions of Americans, on average, are struggling with about $27,000 debt when they leave college taking years to impolitely pay it off. The cost of going to college is only increasing but the debate as to whether the financial burdens are even worth it is increasing. Colleges and Universities are trying to find loopholes to lower their cost of production.
Due to the recession, many colleges and universities are greatly being impacted by the financial disasters resulting in investigating alternatives to make more money rather than trying to spend less. Universities and colleges are hiring adjunct professors that cycle through classrooms and taking away tenure professors solely due to the costs, students by internationalization. Institutions are relying more and more on technology so that they can spend less time face-to-face with students, in the end having to hire fewer professors.
On average about 31 percent of students in higher education take at least one online courses. This development into a technological world has diverted higher education into a business world that works on a production cycle to find out ways to make more money, for-profit colleges being a prime example of that. For-profit colleges are institutions that are run by companies that are profit seeking. The whole purpose of a for-profit college is to make money off heir students and in the end taking advantage of people with little knowledge of the student loan.
For-profit colleges make it incredibly easy to take out loans, nearly not having you do anything. People in the end our left with outrageous student loans and with a degree that serves no purpose. This transition of making college into a business has changed the overall value of higher education, in the end likely resulting in a decline unless actions are taken with not only the government but also the general population as a whole. Ill. Literature Review: Americans are losing their ranking in higher education due to the lack of knowledge f subjects such as math and science.
Due to the drop out rates staying stagnant, Americans do not have the sufficient skills to fill a majority of Jobs, limiting them significantly as to what they can and cannot do in the work force. Students going into college without the proper knowledge of the economics of college only lead to more and more student loan build up. Adjunct Professors: Adjunct professors are professors hired on a fundamental contract rather than being given tenure and permanent positions at an institution. Much like other tenure professors, adjunct professors are required to fulfill basic teaching requirements but re given much lower pay.
Universities, liberal arts colleges, and for profit colleges have debated ways to fully allocate their limited resources that have been given to them through the government. Articles that pertained to adjunct professors all had the common theme of ‘low pay can affect the quality of education (Tucker 2012). ‘5 6 7 At the University of Utah professor salaries can be as low as 47,000 dollars annually, which is lower than the national tenth percentile. 8 Due to the disinterest in the student’s success because of the lack of impressive pay, tenure professors don’t have enough support and resources to fully teach to their attention.
More and more colleges and universities are leaking out ways to get professors without using up all of their resources. Hiring inexpensive faculty members and replacing them with more expensive and experienced professors only result in a lack of a stable teaching environment. Tension between adjunct professors and full time professors only creates the debate as to does the cost effect of hiring adjunct professors positively impact the students with enough support and structure needed to be successful. For profit colleges, as well as community colleges, have turned to online education as another cheap alternative.
Rather than spending money on classroom necessities, institutions can cut back significantly by making students initially going to their institution without using any of the institutions resources. Studies were conducted by The Community College Research Center at Columbia University which pinpointed the conclusion that there was an ‘underperformed for students who take online courses. ‘ Students who take online courses are far more likely to drop out than a student who attended a regular university or college. 9 Institutions are finding ways to cut down the costs of colleges and the online proposal is one of the ways.
The “cost” of college and the opportunity costs given up in order to attend college is essentially being taken away because the removal of the time element. Taking away face-to-face time decreases the cost but also decreases the level of education as well as the commitment and education. There isn’t a sufficient amount of training being done to have a completely successful online college experience. In the end, through online courses offered at institutions such as for-profit, students are getting degrees that can’t be used. For-profit institutions are promising students the chance to attend allege without giving up the opportunity costs.
As more and more students are partaking in this way of learning, for-profit institutions are essentially stealing the money from the students because of the taking away of the classroom benefits as well as proper degrees that can be used in today’s Job market. Internationalization of the Universities: “A manufactured fiscal austerity (including increased costs, cutbacks, and disinvestment) is Joined by a comprehensive reorganization of the very nature of the universities,” called internationalization, which has proliferated since the sass’s.
Internationalization is the process in which universities use in order to directly generate a profit from their students. “With internationalization the university no longer only serves to discipline labor power but also to use that labor power in the production of new commodities and the direct accumulation of capital. “11 Universities have begun this production of privately patenting and counterclaiming publicly funded research done by the students, in the end making a profit directly from student’s research based activities that are taking place on their campus.
Universities are progressively being pressured to find ways of generating their own funds, by any meaner. Colleges and Universities are highlighting programs that make them money and in the end getting rid of many other programs that are deemed to be unprofitable. IV. Methods The data that was used for the graphs were tuition and student loan default rates from the most expensive colleges in America according to Forbes Magazine, The highest nationally ranked American liberal arts schools according to US News and World Report, one state school, and the biggest for-profit school with 300,000 attendees nationwide. The data was organized in three groups, total annual tuition loan rates being the number of students who do not pay off their student loans when payments are due. The data that was used was not in support of the thesis but rather to incorporate the end results from the corruption of higher education. These graphs depict the financial burden and relate it back to the original question as to whether college is worth the financial costs and if the value has gone down. This data set shows the total annual costs of universities and colleges in the country and comparing them to their student loans.
Columbia has the highest number in arms of the average student loans of about $28,832 that students leave with. Although Columbia has the highest total amount of student loan debt, the amount of student loans that were taken out for University of Phoenix is two thousand dollars more than it’s total tuition costs. This graph is a depiction of the comparison of the default rates between Sarah Lawrence, the most expensive private institution in the country, and University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college.
As you can see the default rate for the University of Phoenix is significantly greater than the University of Sarah Lawrence tit over 13 percent versus Sarah Lawrence 4 percent. Students who attended a non-profit college traditionally had a harder time paying off student loans. This could be due to the economic backgrounds of people who attend for-profit schools versus people who attend non-profit schools. That being said, although the initial price of tuition for for-profit colleges might be cheaper in the beginning, the costs of student loans as well as the adding of low student loan default rates quickly builds up financial burdens.
Although both of these charts are informative in terms of getting he basic numbers out, they don’t depict the causes but rather the result. Although the numbers of people attending college have significantly gone up there is still a significant group of people who are failing to attend college and graduate. With the poor funding of high schools across the country, the drop out rate for students who enter college is significant. Out of 100 students only 33 percent of them graduate with a degree. 14 This chart explains the spending cuts Universities and Colleges have made on their students.
Even though states have significantly cut down funding on education, he increase in tuition is only going up. This data meaner that even though institutions are acquiring less money from the government for funding, they are still raising the cost of tuition, in the end not giving the students what they initially are paying for. Because of the decrease in money, institutions have to rely on resources such as adjunct professors, technology and internationalization in order to cut down their spending as well as simultaneously making money.
Budget cuts only lead to taking away crucial programs and devaluing higher education by replacing programs with heap alternatives. “We must address the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America. In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer Just a pathway to opportunityвЂ”it is a pre-requisite. “1 5 No matter what the financial burdens may be, Americans across the country are setting the burdens aside solely due to the pressures of the requirement of attending college.
The Job market is so centralized around the amount of education that a person has acquired that Americans are feeling as though they have to attend mom form of higher education. Degrees are being given out that have no credibility and students are spending less time in the classroom and more time worrying about student loan pile up. A college degree is no guarantee for a good Job. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that only about 19. Percent of 2009 graduates who applied for Jobs, successfully got them post graduation. The college dropout rate and its representation in the Job market demonstrate the ongoing circle of unemployment, which contributes to the National debt. If students are dropping UT of college then their skill level is not applicable to a large portion of Jobs, leaving them to do low level Jobs. Conclusion: Students should be given more structured levels of academic programs with consistency.
Although adjunct professors are a cheaper alternative, and not always bad, the looseness of teaching methods as well as the unfocused demeanor that often comes from an adjunct professor can negatively impact the students. Even though tenure and full time professors are more expensive, college should use their budgets and focus more on maintaining high levels of education with properly rained and credible faculty members. If students are given proper education then it transcends into the work force, which then helps the economy, eventually allowing for government to lend out higher budgets for institutions.
If more and more institutions want to incorporate online practices as well as the heavy use of adjunct professors, there needs to be a heavier use of interactive elements. Students should be forced to participate in their learning through blobbing or discussion based additives. The “flipped classroom” alternative, which has increased significantly in popularity, is a step in the right direction. The flipped classroom is an online world in which students can choose to learn from via discussion based online learning habits.
Professors have recorded lectures and interactive lessons and discussions. With every course material that they receive online their should be an increased demand for student-student conversation and “class becomes the place to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning. Most importantly, all aspects of instruction can be rethought to best maximize the scarcest learning sourceвЂ”time. “16 Colleges need to customize their institutions into bettering their student’s success rates as opposed to finding loopholes to lower production costs.
The declining in government funding towards higher education is hard to come up with a solution for but in reality Colleges and Universities should focus on improving student success through practices that they can control rather than blaming it on outside factors such as government funding. The declining in salaries due to the lack down exponentially but if institutions build up their resources and lower the credits hat are needed in order to obtain a degree then institutions could not only regulate more productivity but also serve more students.
Students are spending a lot of time in institutions trying to get degrees while simultaneously taking courses in other institutions as well as online. A high percentage of students will transfer intuitions, often through state lines, having to try to match up credits. Universities should find information to keep students on track and showing them the positives of the end goal so they will want to continue on with higher education. Works Cited Allen, l. Elaine, and Jeff Seaman. Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011. Sloan-C: The Sloan Consortium.