The Tuition Policy as an Efficient Triage Measure for Access to Higher Education

Published: 2021-09-23 04:55:10
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Tuition policy is a primary tool used by the states to influence the affordability and access of higher learning institutions.
Legislatures are known to make the rules governing the states, but they do not have a direct influence on the tuition rates. The legislatures influence the tuition rates indirectly through the yearly budget plan and by establishing broad policy parameters that the institutions and governing boards must follow when setting tuition fees. Tuition policy is considered to be delicate when the governing body of institutions strives to balance the restraining increase in tuition fees and the institution’s revenue needs. A very restrictive tuition policy may have an impact on an institution’s quality of education and ratings. The policy options have led to a faster rise in tuition rates, more than the family incomes of most students; hence, the increase in student debt ( Moore, Colleen, and Shulock, 2010).Students borrow more money to finance their education while those who are sensitive to higher price enroll in colleges that do not match their academic credentials. Other students also forgo joining college because of the high tuition fees. States may, therefore, enact several tuition policies reduce the financial burden that students and institutions have to endure. Institutions endure the financial burden when there is the need to upgrade amenities and increase scholarships for higher ratings. Awarding scholarships to students also has an impact on tuition fees as the institutions have to increase the sticker price to ensure that the net tuition revenue earned is adequate (Juskzkiewicz and Jolanta, 2014).
Identification and Definition of Variables
Student Debt
Across the globe, higher education contributes to unprecedented student loans debt challenges in both the developed and developing countries. The student debt is on the rise because of factors such as high costs of living in college and high tuition fees. In the United States, the student loan debts are noted to have reached disquieting record levels for the undergraduates, graduates and the governments. Many students fail to complete their degree programs on time or drop out of school because of the high tuition rates that have burdened them with the debts (Porter, 2002).
Tuition Fees
Tuition fee is the amount of money that students pay for instruction at the college that they have enrolled. There has been an increase in tuition fees over the decades as the enrollment rate has also been on the rise. Institutions and the body governing their activities set the tuition fees based on the requirements that have been put in place by the legislators. In many occasions, the states influence the amount of tuition fees to be paid indirectly because of political or economic reasons (Desjardians et al, 2002).
Timely Graduation
Timely graduation is a principle for most colleges that allows students to complete their degree programs within the stipulated time of four years. In certain instances, some students do not make it to graduate after four years because of excess credit and too much debt burden. Some students graduate after five or six years while others opt to drop out of college (Dowd and Alicia, 2004).
Dependent Variables
Timely graduation is dependent on whether or not the students will have the burden of student debt and excess credit before completing their degree programs. Timely graduation would also be dependent on the tuition fee that the student needs to pay. An increase in tuition fees may delay the graduation because of financial constraints experienced by the students and their families.
Independent Variables
Tuition fees and student debt may not be affected by the other variable, which is timely graduation. The fees and student debt rates are influenced by parties that are not worried about the completion time of the degree programs. It is the responsibility of the students to ensure that they finance their degree programs to graduate on time.
It is legal to transfer credits but it may not always bring forth the best result regarding timely graduation. Most students may need more than four years to complete their degree programs yet they end up taking and paying for more credits than the number that is required. It is a requirement to complete 120 credits but students end up pursuing up to 135 credits for a bachelor’s degree program.
One reason why there are many incidences of late graduation may be the difficulty in transferring credits from one college to another. Research indicates that a third of students have transferred credits while in college while nearly half of them obtained no credit for the course done. There are colleges that have developed a system that honors the credits earned from other institutions, but the move may not be may not be enough to guarantee a timely graduation. It is assumed that the decision and final graduation list is determined by the department. The only solution to the problem of transferring credits is to ask the administrators who may want to review the syllabus from the former school for comparison (Ward et al, 2012).
It may not be importance to research about the social life of college students and its impact on their timely graduation. It is already noted in journal articles that some students may disengage from the school system because they do not feel part of the college community. It is known that social isolation and depression affect academic progress, more so for students who are living away from home for the first time.
The dropout rates in college are high among students who do not become involved in college life through friendship networks and sporting activities. Studies also reveal that students may worry about committing to co-curricular activities as their academic performance may be affected. In most cases, the opposite is true in college. It may, therefore, be irrelevant to research about social life of student in college as it is either the students join activities outside the classroom setting or they stick to their studies (Aird et al, 2010).
The research would not concentrate on the challenge of selecting areas of specializing after joining college. Area of specialization does not influence the rising debt situation among students in one way or another. It is true that students may get caught up in the mess of selecting their major, with thousands of classes that are required to complete the degree program. Students ought to be advised by their parents on how to be flexible with the structure of the college in order to complete their degree programs successfully. The research would not include the problem of specialization as most colleges tend to address the problem by encouraging students to decide on their majors earlier so that they can chart out a path to the four year course.
With the various activities in college, there are a lot that the students may want to manage. Students are more distracted from school activities than before as they tend to work more hours outside the classroom setting. The students who commute and are responsible for their families may not be suitable for research as they spend most of their time attending to the needs of their families. In the era of social media, students are caught up in the mix such that they are distracted from school work that requires tighter time management. It may be difficult for such students to cope when taking part in activities such as research work (Bourdon Carrie, and Carducci, 2002).
Students who take part in the research may not achieve the academic benefits that are related to the research. Initially, student used to spend 80% of their time in class while in high school while they spent 20% on homework. The dedication to studies in college has been reversed and students simply go through their notes a night before the exam. It may not be easy to declare a student to be on academic probation as there may be the need to press the immediacy of the issue of concern. Students may tend to go for the shortcuts while taking part in the research, a factor that may lead to inaccurate data being collected and measured (Allensworth, Elaine, and Easton, 2005).
Importance of the Study
The study would be useful in ensuring that students from all backgrounds can get college education without having the burden of student debt or excessive work that would reduce their chances of completing their degree. The research would create awareness on the need to complete the required credits in time to ensure that the graduation is timely. The study would give an insight on the importance of taking the required number of credits or more and keeping track of the GPA. Failure to keep track of the student portal may lead to last minute rush, which may not result in timely graduation.
The study is important in illustrating how the states influence the student debt and the tuition fees. The legislative role of the states is included on how the states indirectly influence the tuition fees that students ought to pay for their degree programs. The study gives readers an opportunity to understand how the management of the colleges and the legislature works hand in hand to offer quality services to the students.
The study also indicates the reasons the constant increase in tuition fees in public institutions over the past decade. Moreover, readers learn vital information on the process of completing a four year course in time and the most effective ways to deal with the issue of excess credit. The study would enable readers to improve and make better college decisions as it may not always be easy to know the challenges that one might experience in college. The information on students and their families in the study is essential for readers to identify colleges that would provide the best value of education that would fit their needs and educational goals.

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