Issues of Access and Affordability
I have been thinking a lot lately about the cost of college – about issues of access and affordability – in large part because of the number of meetings I have had with students and families in the past four weeks. I’ve noticed that their questions are being framed somewhat differently this year, with more hesitation to take on student loan indebtedness.
At my high school, our senior class of 700 will typically send about 90-92 percent to postsecondary institutions, and with a majority choosing to attend out-of-state colleges and universities (not that there is anything wrong with staying in Minnesota!!). With May 1 having now come and gone, it looks as though we’re headed to a similar outcome this year, but the difference is the number of students choosing a more affordable option over a higher “ranked” college. A good “financial match” is winning out over the “prize” of a more famous college. Not always, but more than I can remember – even five years ago.