Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The One Percenters of Education

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile, every time I pay for another test or some "supplies" the kids need that the school expects the families to pay.  What if I couldn't pay?

In last night speech, Obama recommitted to education in this country. He believes all Americans should have access to college. It's a great sentiment however, there is another challenge to this problem than just education. As a parent of a High Schooler, there are so many out of pocket expenses just to get your child to the college door.

Getting ready for college costs include calculator, and test fees
The tuition for college is only one hurtle. There were many more to get through before reaching this one.  There is the cost for the SAT and ACT tests and the calculators to go with the test. Most experts suggest that students take the test at least twice but the average is three times. Many parents spend thousands of dollars on tutoring for the entrance exams. And then there are the parents who hire college coaches to help with the application process, college entrance essays and interviews. They'll guide you on what you admissions is looking for from a candidate. And let's not forget the college application fee, which you will need more than one to ensure you'll have a shot.

I went on a couple of campus tours and the admissions officer will say that they are looking to see that the
student took advantage of the high level classes in High School including honors and Advance Placement (AP) classes. With those AP classes comes an AP test fee.  I can't imagine that families struggling to make ends meet can pay for these fees easily.

There are many financial obstacles before even stepping foot on a campus.  Yes, I think every child should have access to a higher education but I also believe the families need financial support while they are on the journey to college.

8 comments:

  1. I am amazed at how much college costs now, and when I went to college, it was less than $3,000 a year which included room and board. I went to Bluefield College which is a small private Baptist college, and was blessed that my Dad made so little money, most of my education was paid for by government grants. I had a couple student loans, but were not a lot, and paid them off quickly.

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    1. OMG YES! I went to community college for my first 2 years. $25 a credit. When I went for my 4 yr degree and came back, it was up to $75 a credit - what the hell happened!?! And that was over 15 years ago, lord knows what it's up to now.

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  2. You make some excellent points. My son's not there yet, but he will be soon, and we're going to have to pay attention to this. I'm concerned about the effects of the high cost of college on the future economy. There are lots of students coming out with enormous student loans and jobs that don't pay enough to both live on and pay back the loans. What's a young person coming out of college going to do? Besides go back home to live with mom and dad.

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    1. Agreed DH and I talk about keeping the house until they are settled because we heard a lot of kids are moving back in with their parents.

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  3. There is help for families that can prove hardship with some of the AP exams and the SATs but there is a frustration as a parent that perhaps the test has become "fixed" by the many people that have figured out how to profit fron the test. I've had clients tell me that they sent their child for tutoring because they were average students with average interest in learning. Their child did amazing at the test and had higher scores than some of the top 10% in their class...because their parents couldn't afford to pay for tutoring.
    What does this say about the test?
    So much weight on it...

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    1. Yes, that's one of the problems I see here. I've heard the SATs are the worse about doing that - they have "trick" questions and more and more of the country is turning to the ACTs because the questions are more straight forward. I attended a talk about the tests and the tutor there said, it's not whether you child has the knowledge. It's more that they need to know how to take the test because it's unlike anything they take in High School. Whereas the ACT is not that way.

      My problem with the AP exam you are graded on the bell curve. So you only get a 5 if you are the top 10% scorers of the test. It has nothing to do if you know the material or not. That's just wrong to me.

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  4. The joys of having teens. I've only got two little ones (1 and 4) and schooling is starting to become a hot topic. However, we Aussies are blessed with "free" education for all. You don't have to fork out so much cash upfront to get into University certainly not to take exams. It's not out of reach due to your social standing. Hopefully, there is a change coming in the USA. Great blog, found you from March Blog Hop :)

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    1. You gave me a chuckle. Alas, I feel the U.S. is about profit that it's never going to happen. I sometimes thing they'd charge us for the air we breathe if they could. I'm curious do you have any competition to get into a certain university or a certain program? And thanks for the visit - love bloggy moms - I'll come for a visit :)

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