Dulcia Tsai’s Blog 2: The best education reserved only for the wealthy?

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We have all heard of the story of the bright student who could not go to an Ivy League world renowned college because their family simply could not afford it. According to Guttenplan’s article “Financial Crisis Amplifies Education’s Value” in the New York Times, there has been a bigger and growing emphasis on college degrees. It was found that an individual with a college degree earns “an average of 1.5 times as much as adults with only a high school diploma, who in turn earn 25 percent more than adults without one.” The concepts seems pretty straight forward in our world today but rarely do people think about the individuals who do not have the resources and economic stability to send their children to schools that prepare their students to attempt entry into those top schools around the world. Another author, Leonhardt, in the New York times states in his article “Bridging the Income Barrier at Top Colleges “, that many students who are actually well qualified for admittance into the top ranking school are already discouraged beforehand in choosing and the submission process when applying for colleges. Why should those students miss out on that opportunity over other students who may be less or even under qualified compared to them and simply gain acceptance through donations and family legacies? Those privileged individuals may come out of college, land a high positioned career from their connections, and may not know how to direct their multi millionaire company in the best direction possible which then in turn affects the thousands of workers working under them. Obviously not all top college graduates and CEOs fall under this category but sometimes people simply fail to see the possibility and commonness of how it can take place.

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A project was done at the Sarah Turner of the University of Virginia where they “mailed information packets about colleges mostly to high-performing, lower-income students”. The result they found was that when students are more informed on their options and received information like the ones mailed, they are more likely to apply. Programs like these, I believe, should be adopted by schools of all types. In theory the strategy is very straight forward and seem easy but some may argue that one cannot simply request that schools throughout the nation to suddenly change their school’s traditions, admissions, and practices they may have up kept for years but small steps like altering the audience they chose to advertise to can be a small step that can bring about a change that is needed. An end of a vicious cycle could possibly be seen. The cycle of some over privileged but under qualified students being accepted and graduating from the top colleges, accepting of those students to the top paying jobs around the country, having them run big corporate businesses, let them influence or make crucial decisions that affect thousands of underprivileged workers under them, have them produce offspring who they would most likely send to some top colleges as well, fill top positions, and continue the cycle of that exclusive world while others wait for a crack in the door to try to squeeze their way in.

Financial Crisis Amplifies Education’s Value: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/world/europe/financial-crisis-amplifies-educations-value.html?ref=education&_r=0

Bridging the Income Barrier at Top Colleges: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/bridging-the-income-barrier-at-top-colleges/

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