Making Higher Education A National Priority

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“Making Higher Education a National Priority” “In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite” –Barack Obama (Address to Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24. 2009). This reflection embodies the increasing importance of pursuing higher education. However, economic conditions have forced students across the nation to reevaluate their educational priorities. Decreased government funding has led to higher tuition costs, fewer financial aid packages, and many programs being cut entirely. These factors have resulted in a national struggle to afford pursing higher education. If not addressed the “College-Affordability Crisis” will…show more content…
Clark further exposes how universities from a variety of states, throughout the nation, are being forced to cut resources that students depend on. For example, “Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio have run out of scholarship money and are turning down thousands of qualified applicants” (Clark 1). Consequently, students must depend on loans or seek other cheaper avenues to continue their education, but even smaller community colleges have not been able to escape these compromising changes. Jennifer Gonzales, author of the article “Education For All?”, is no stranger to how budget cuts have forced community colleges to make difficult decisions. Some colleges have seen their government funding cut by over twenty-five percent in the last five years alone (Gonzales 5). When community colleges had sufficient funding they housed a diverse student body and offered a variety of courses to meet the unique needs of their students. Unfortunately, as funds have diminished the focus on diversity has been lost in favor of students who are the most qualified on paper. This change in perspective has resulted in over four hundred thousand students being denied admission (Gonzales 2). Gonzales reveals the consequence of this by citing Kay M. McClenney’s belief that "The students who we turn away are the demographic future of America” (2). It is evident that these institutions are experiencing the same adverse effects as larger four year colleges. However, these small colleges are also
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