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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The Problem of Access to College Education
A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California posits that California may hit a shortage of properly trained professionals by the year 2030. Though its metrics and analytics bear greater discussion than allowed here, researchers note that workers with at least a B.A. have better economic outcomes than those without a college degree. A competitive workplace means that college graduates are far more likely to get hired.
In California, however, there is another problem. Not enough people can afford to go to college, and the public system is fracturing from the strains of consistent budget cuts. According to another recent report by the Campaign for College Opportunity, California's population has exploded by 265% since 1950. During that time, public universities have consistently endured cutbacks.
In order to offset these cuts, colleges raise tuition. A lot. Since 2000, the University of California's tuition has soared by 200%. California State Universities have hiked costs by 175%. It doesn’t take a statistician to see that this is problematic.
The goal of the third-level, public education system was to ensure that California had an educated and productive population. Such a workforce is crucial to healthy industry. The current result is that admittees to California colleges are increasingly amongst the very cream of the academic crop from the high schools. Given the necessary costs of attendance, and the limitations on financial aid, the students who can viably attend are those with the wealth to do so.
The governor's budget proposal is announced in early January 2016, and discussion of education funding will certainly be central. The socioeconomic problem, however, persists. How, indeed, order tramadol in illinois does a state expand access to education when it simply cannot afford to do so? What implications does this have in the future health of the workforce?
One thing is certain. It is time for all of us to start paying attention.
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