Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Public Colleges Gain Favor in Parent Survey

Katrina Martynyuk filling out her free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) in the STCC financial aid office while Natalya Petrik looks on.

Not surprisingly in an annual survey of Massachusetts parents almost half indicated that they want their child to attend a public university or college – up from 30% in the 2007 survey.  The Fidelity Investment and Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority annual poll reflects the post great recession reality of higher education:  families have less money while the cost of higher education continues to increase. (More information from the survey is available through the August 23, 2011 Boston Globe at the link parent survey .)

In this environment, public colleges for most American families represent the affordable option to high tuition and high post-college debt.  Yet states have been reducing support for their public college systems and possible 
federal cut-backs in financial aid may make public higher education out of the reach of many.

This period of high unemployment, is an ideal time to encourage further education and preparation for skilled jobs.  Closing the doors of public higher education would be a  shortsighted policy that will negatively affect individuals and our common economic future.