higher education

It’s been said over and over: the tuition in America is ridiculously expensive. So expensive that it’s affecting the racial diversity of students enrolling in colleges and universities, with white students making the bulk of the enrollees. Not only is this disheartening, it’s downright affecting the future of the country.

Disparity in numbers

To see the disparity among the students comprising higher institution in the United States, let’s look at a study that scanned the records of 530 educational institutions over the course of 14 years.

The study was geared towards analyzing how different race reacts to tuition increase and found that financial struggle greatly tilted the diversity of racial groups in higher learning institutions. The average total full-time enrollment from 1998-2011 numbered at an exact 8,455 of which 70.8 percent were white and 29.2 percent were non-white.

Previous study that delved in the matter showed that institutions have provided financial aids and implemented admissions practices in order to provide more diversity into their campus. But this isn’t enough as tuitions are still increasing. Data revealed that it has nearly doubled since 2008.

Jeremy Torres who came from a Puerto Rican family struggling in the tier of poverty felt firsthand the effect of this increase. He is under a scholarship grant for maintaining a 3.75 grade average at Cardinal Hayes High School in Bronx, New York.

After he graduated, Torres chose Syracuse University as the high school scholarship program he’s under would pay about half of the $59,000 of the yearly tuition, room and board. Syracuse, however, increased its tuition by 3.6 percent last year resulting in the program unable to cover the whole expense he was supposed to be eligible. The student has to choose whether to stay at the university or go somewhere else as he couldn’t afford the cost of textbooks.

Italian-American State Legislators offer scholarships

Torres situation can still be considered fortunate as he’s still under a scholarship. But what about the thousands of others who aren’t?

New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators is giving away four $2,500 scholarships to be announced on June 8.

Applicants in the academic scholarship are required to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, while those aiming for the athletic scholarship should participate in organized sports, as well as involve themselves in their community’s extracurricular activities.

Unfortunately, application should’ve been sent last April 27. The point, however, is that there should be more scholarships that are giving aid to students that aren’t capable of fully supporting themselves to receive higher education.

As legislators haven’t found the right lid to contain this increasing tuition, they should seek temporary and quick alternatives in helping kids enter colleges. And not just enter, but ensure that they make it through the whole four years and receive a degree.

Obviously the student also needs to do their part, but how could they if they aren’t given the chance in the first place?

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