Why does federal support fall as tuition rises?

By By Linda Ho

By Linda Ho

Popular media portrays the typical college student as hopelessly poor yet decked out in the latest fashion trends while scoring excellent grades.

In the real world, students work one or two jobs to live and pay for school. Yet the money hardly ever reaches the bank after tuition, books and food. With the cost of school rising, how is anyone expected to afford an education?

It astounds me that the government is planning to cut Pell Grants by $270 million. More than 84,000 students will lose the financial aid they have. The ones most likely to lose it are those receiving about $400 from the grant. No matter how small the amount, the money is still needed for books, rent or tuition.

For some, the Pell Grant is the only help they can get for school. With tuition on the rise, the loss of the grant might price many students out of school.

The only other way for students to get some money is scholarships and student loans. However, many scholarships at the U are not renewable. When the money stops, how are these students supposed to graduate?

Nationwide, about 70 percent of students graduate from public high school. Only 32 percent of those are qualified to attend college. The nationwide average for students graduating with a degree is about 25 percent (Utah’s rate is approximately 27 percent). That means the number of students leaving college with a degree is dismal.

More and more students are also graduating at older ages-about 25 years old and up. There are many reasons why students cannot graduate in four years. Some are too busy with jobs and sometimes academic programs, like those in the College of Business, require extensive prerequisites. Time is precious at our age.

Many end up stretching themselves too thin in order to balance all of the above stated obstacles. As a result they are not able to excel at school and only strive for the lowest passing grade.

If education is the best way to secure a bright future, why does the government keep cutting its support?

As tuition steadily rises, more and more students will drop out to earn the money they need to attend classes, thereby delaying their entrance into the job field.

Time equals money.

Is this really the best the government can do to foster a strong work force?

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