More Money, More Dropouts: Academic Costs Stifle Education

College was always some far-off dream for me as a kid. I imagined myself on a campus packed with every type of student. I dreamed of studying in libraries with tall wooden shelves and endless rows of tables. I dreamed of living in dorms and making lifelong friends.
But most of all, I dreamed of all the things I would learn: philosophy, astronomy, linguistics, history, literature, music and a plethora of other subjects. I dreamed of opportunities that would serve as stepping stones for discovering who I was meant to be.
At last, I realized an all-encompassing education was only a dream. Little did I know that CORE classes would serve as a tease before choosing a major and minor became the end game. I would have to decide one course to follow – a decision forced shortly after just beginning to sample classes.
Where were these tantalizing options I had dreamt so warmly of? Were they yanked from under my nose as I inhaled their savory aromas during the first two years of my college career? It seemed so.
The time for switching my major and minor every semester to piece together the delicate puzzle that was to be my intellectual persona had ended. It was time to stick to my guns and follow through. Why so soon? Why did my mental six shooter feel a little light in my hands? Money. That is a simple answer.
Most of us would agree many of our adult decisions revolve around money. We run out of time at college because we run out of money.
The way our country’s education system works doesn’t give students much wiggle room when it comes trying out course options. We get a vague picture of what we want, and once the picture becomes a comfortable blur, we must snatch it up or get left in the dust.
I have seen many friends drop out of school because of money. It seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? When students get out of their government-funded public high schools and dip their toes into the education’s private sector, they get minimal or, in some cases, no help.
 Shouldn’t education be an inalienable right as a citizen? Shouldn’t a government want to get its populous into the workforce with as little struggle as possible? I think so.
 If we could get kids into school and keep dropouts to a minimum, we could change our society. We could create a younger, savvier generation of intellectuals who are educated with ample time to experience all higher education has to offer – the social side of higher education and many of the classes that don’t necessarily make “sense” to take in order to graduate.
It would provide students more time to experiment and find themselves before they stumble into a workplace, just to realize their still-hot-off-the-printer diploma won’t land them the job they thought they spent years earning, not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on that diploma.
The words “Socialized” and “Socialist” are often stigmatized. For some, these words are too close to the old red enemy of decades past. But to create a brighter future, we require education reform. Socialized education isn’t just a necessity for the future of the United States; it is a right.
Anyone daring enough to dream should receive free higher education. We are a nation of dreamers. The students jumping out of high school and into college need someone to turn off the lights so they can dream.
We – yes, all of us – are holding the switch.
photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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