At What Price College?

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Publication: Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Author: Davis, Crystal D
Date published: June 23, 2011
Language: English
PMID: 14090
ISSN: 15575411
Journal code: BIHE

As California goes, so goes the nation? A college education is becoming increasingly unaffordable, particularly for Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians, according to a two-part study by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. In an effort to pay for tuition, 86 percent of minority students are holding down jobs, and they're working an average of 27 hours a week. Such schedules are keeping 60 percent of the students from taking the classes they need, and the high number of working hours has resulted in most students taking longer to graduate, having lower grades and missing chances to take advantage of campus support systems. The stress of balancing work and school comes as students also struggle with rising tuition fees: "I ended up paying my [tuition] increase [with] my rent money," one 21-year-old African-American student told the researchers. "It was very stressful because it was like, "Do I have somewhere to live or do I pay tuition?" If my classes get dropped, the likelihood of me getting into those classes [again] is slim to none. The end result of all these competing priorities? Thirty percent of the students surveyed said they are considering dropping out of school.

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