Academic journal article Education

Financial Issues Experienced by Students in Private Higher Education Institutions

Academic journal article Education

Financial Issues Experienced by Students in Private Higher Education Institutions

Article excerpt


The competitive job market and the scarcity of employment have led to a surge of student's enrollment in higher educational institutions. This is so the chances of obtaining a job after graduation are increased. Education has increased in value as perceived by the younger generation (Mogil'chak, 2012). Employers have also started preferring higher qualified candidates for jobs being offered. This is because there is an abundance of graduates looking for jobs in a job scarce market. The importance of a college education has mostly boomed in order to keep up with the pace of the rest of the economy. Previously where a degree would set the candidate apart from the crowd, it now only levels the playing field (Camevale, Jayasundera, & Cheah, 2012).

According to Baum and Ma (2007), benefits derived from attending higher educational institutions are personal, financial and affect the graduate throughout the course of his life. The rising cost of tuition and the demand for higher education as a job requirement has led to many students opt for student loans. The crippling global economy has led to an abundance of accumulated debt which students are facing difficulties in paying off (Johnstone & Marcucci, 2010). Student debt in USA exceeds $1 Trillion (Burke & Butler, 2012). According to Dillon (2011), student debt is now a part of life and has become an imperative cycle in every American student's life.

The financial responsibility for higher education, originally borne by the government and taxpayers is now the responsibility of students and their families (Johnstone & Marcucci, 2010; Vossensteyn, 2009). This financial responsibility is not within the capacity of all families (Kirshstein, 2012). This is because there is a lack of financial planning on part of the families and a lack of clarity in information provided by institutions when it comes to tuition payments. Expenses other than fee and tuition such as living expenses, textbooks, technology, transport and miscellaneous personal expenses must be taken into consideration (Brown & Proper, 2005).

Rise of Tuition Fee Globally

The increase in tuition fee by higher education institutions can be attributed to various factors. Some universities increase prices in order to set themselves apart from cheaper institutions. Other times, the bloated administration is to blame (Archibald & Feldman, 2010).

England has seen an increase of tuition fee up to $14,000 a year. Unlike the USA, the applicant rate in European countries has dropped. An official statement by the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills claimed that students willing to continue their higher education could do so by obtaining a loan which will only be payable in case the annual income of the student exceeds $33,000 (Global Ticker, 2012).

Tuition fees per student in the USA have increased by five times the inflation rate since 1983. Within the decade between the years 2000-2010, there was a 23% increase in educational cost. Student debt on the other hand has doubled in the last 15 years. Statistics also show that the rate of completion of a graduate degree is only at 57%. This is mainly due to the inability of students to keep up with university costs. A student is expected to be $26,000 in debt at the time of graduation (Economist, 2012). In the academic year 2012/2013, the cost of private colleges had increase by 3.9% and the student aid rose by 6.2% (DeSantis, 2012).

Typical tuition fees from some of the private universities are; Boston University US$43,970; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) $43,498; Northeastern University US$40,780; and Suffolk University US$31,592 (Boston Globe, 2013). In some private American colleges in Minnesota, tuition fees are: Carleton College US$46,167; Macalester College US$45,388; Augsburg College US$33,154; and Bethany Lutheran College US$23,950 (Minnesota Private College Council, 2013). …

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