Annalyn Censky, in a CNN Money Watch piece, Surging College Costs Price out the Middle Class, envisions that soon only rich people will become educated, leaving the middle class to be plumbers, electricians, carpenters and mechanics. I have never thought of craft workers as uneducated, but…
While this may be somewhat overstated, as a trend, it’s a fate we must address.
This conversation can become complex because of the different conceptualizations of what a university education represents. We need to move past the idea that a particular vision of the university experience should be available to everyone regardless of ability, interest, commitment or aspiration. But we must make sure that an affordable education is available to anyone who embodies these ideals.
Is a college degree a dying entitlement? According to the statistics in Censky’s piece income has been relatively flat since 1988, but the cost of an education has increased more than 120%, and while there are no figures for debt load in 1988, today the average undergraduate leaves with a burden of more than $23,000. This level of financial commitment on the part of students would normally argue against the entitlement concept. But we must understand the different roles a school plays.