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College Not Affordable

VU International News and Reviews No. 115 June 18 2018

July 2019

The Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York (SUNY) has published a report “For Many, is College out of Reach?”. The report notes that while education is generally seen as an important tool to address inequity issues, the rising costs of higher education together with the HE public budget costs since the 2008 crisis and the proposed further cuts under president Trump seriously impact the ability of higher education to fulfil this role.

The report explores various ways who higher education institutions and the HE system may still work to keep a higher educational accessible to a diverse population:

  • providing direct benefits to students instead of block grants to institutions
  • provide targeted programmes for at-risk students
  • provide new access by breaking up traditional education structures
  • use quality and success indicators to demonstrate value
  • bend the total cost curve for college education

The report contains fascinating information on how groups of people rate the value of higher education in the US, showing that only a tiny minority thinking that benefits outweigh costs and showing that those who have no Higher Education experience tend to not believe its benefits.

More concerning is their overview of declining enrolment rates in the US as the tangible proof of decreasing access:

In view of the projected labour market needs for higher educated people in the US, this is not only a social problem, but also an economical one.

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