College Affordability

by Jocelyn Reinecke

College affordability is a growing concern across the country. Many students are in more debt than ever before even when just getting a Bachelor’s degree. Many students are working more than one job to try and pay for all their debt. Students are even having a harder time trying to find a job after they graduate that will help them pay back their loans.

Some parents are worried that if something would happen to their children, all the debt would fall directly back on them. This has many parents extremely concerned. Many have bills to pay on their own with mortgages and other living expenses. Many times they can barely afford those bills alone. If they would have to pay back their child’s debt as well would put an even more burden on them. State and private school are both feeling the growth in tuition, causing it to be a nationwide problem. Governor Corbett’s bill or what we are proposing for CSC_Cubed would enormously help these students. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and how Lobby Day will effect these vote on these bills. Many students would be greatly affected by it, and it would definitely help make college more affordable for middle income students who are trying to better their lives by getting a college education and would enormously impact their future.

Middle Class Student Debt Issue

by Wade Dickey

Students going to college are being bombarded with debt after they graduate. But it is the middle class people that are truly taking the hit. An article by NBC News says that it isn’t the low-income class students that are coming out with the most debt after college because they are eligible for grants, scholarships, and financial aid. And the higher class can most of the time pay for their children to go to school out of pocket. So that middle class stuck between them are the ones that don’t have enough money to pay out of pocket, and are not eligible for grants and financial aid like the lower class. So what can they do? The answer is that they are forced to pull out student loans if they want to go to college.

The article states, “Seven out of 10 college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, averaging $29,400 per borrower, according to a separate study by the Institute for College Access & Success, up from $26,600 in 2011” ( Student debt is not just going away, this is a problem that is increasingly becoming an issue for students and specifically middle class citizens. So something needs to be done to help these kids graduate with less debt in the state and federal government.

Reforming the Expected Family Contribution

by Marissa Daniels-Benditt  

In today’s world, earning a college diploma is considered the key to success. However, when the cost of college is too high and you’re swimming in debt after you graduate you don’t feel so successful. According to the New York Times, There may be a way to fix this.

A majority of Americans turn to the government for financial aid which is based off of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC formula uses the financial information a student provides on his or her FASFA to calculate the how much aid they are entitled to.

Believe it or not, the way to cut college costs is by eliminating Congress’ power over the EFC formula. Congress is trying to make the EFC more realistic but there are already so many problems with it that it is unable to be fixed. The New York Times article says that the EFC should be cut by 75 percent and by doing so it would force colleges to construct finanical aid packages without the “artificial price supports of inflated contribution numbers—and make paying for college less agonizing.”  

Do you think this could be a way to lower college costs? If this is a plausible way, do you think that it would pass? 

Keep in mind, lobbying expenditures by colleges, universities and other higher-education organizations have totaled more than a half-billion dollars over the past five years. Making them the 8th highest interest group attempting to influence Congress!

Schools Pulling Out

by Philip Wubbolt

Legislation in the Pennsylvania legislature will allow several Pennsylvania public colleges to pull out of the 14 university system of higher education.  Supporters of the bill say it would strengthen the state system by allowing its best universities to leave while those who oppose it say it would hurt the system because it would result in increased tution and weakened faculty unions.  Many trustees and lawmakers are pushing for this bill to be approved.  The bill would allow PASSHE’s best off institutions, those with over 7,000 students and good financials, to become “state-related” versus “state-owned”.  The epicenter for support is West Chester University.

The sheer fact that this kinds of rash actions are on the minds of lawmakers and trustees shows the failures of the state-school system as a whole.  The belief is that leaders at privatized universities will be able to run a higher education system better than the government.

Lobby Day a Success – Our Story Covered on KYW News Radio

CSCubed had a successful Student Lobby Day in Harrisburg on April 1. We contacted more than 50 members of the Pennsylvania legislature seeking support for middle income college grants. Several media organizations covered our trip including KYW-AM who us as we left before dawn. Their story ran regularly on the radio during drive time and was published here: “Widener Students in Harrisburg to Lobby for College Debt Relief”

Getting on to Bus for Lobby Day

Picture of CSCubed members getting on the bus to Harrisburg