Financial issues shouldn’t prevent students from getting an education

Stephanie Roque/Contributing Writer


College: a rite of passage for many students who have and will be graduating high schools across the nation. Yet to some, college may not be in the cards and not by their own choice.

CNN Money’s Heather Long came out with an article on May 28, 2016 detailing the astonishing enrollment decline of colleges across the U.S. since the year 2010 and what could be causing this sudden drop in numbers.

Accumulating all the recent government data, CNN Money reported that college enrollment peaked at 21 million students in the year 2010, but has plummeted since then by almost 1 million students. So what is up with this educational crisis and what can we do, if anything at all?

Ted Mitchell, the U.S. secretary of education, told CNN Money that there really isn’t anything to worry about. In light of the current economical uprise, students are turning to employers rather than professors, being that the percentages of employment have risen since 2013, according to On the other hand, college graduates still end up on the greener side of things, making almost double than those who only graduated high school.

Another big factor to take into consideration is that this recorded decline in enrollment mainly applies to community colleges and for-profit universities. It is estimated that roughly 820,000 students were absent on community college campuses. CNN’s Heather Long reports that these institutions are vital connections to low-income families due to their close proximity to homes and neighborhoods, unrequired SAT scores and low tuition costs.

Comparing numbers, for-profit universities saw a decline of about 500,000 students. Some suggest  the big debt students graduate with, along with what some call a “worthless degree,” could be a direct indicator of the drop in enrollment.

In my opinion, one of the worst feelings a student can experience is when they can’t or don’t have the opportunity to attend a college or university for any reason, a main one being income. Low income families feel as though college is out of reach, and therefore, don’t even try enrolling, another possible contributor to the drop in numbers.

FIU sophomore and biology major, Meilyn Cisneros, describes how she feels on the topic at hand.

“I think that it’s very unfortunate that many students can’t go to college because of their financial standing which shouldn’t prevent them from having the opportunity to further their education,” Cisneros said to Student Media.

So what can America do to increase college enrollment numbers? Well first things first: America should do more to ensure that low income families have the same opportunities to attend and access college, just as any other student across the nation would. No one should ever feel discouraged about trying or doing anything they strive and dream to do, especially when it comes to pursuing higher education.  



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image courtesy of Flickr


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