The College Tuition Paradigm

Anyssa Elmanfaa, Associate Editor

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As the 21st century economy shifts into an increasingly demanding environment for the average American citizen, the priority of which services will remain under the faucet of federal funding has become questionable. In the case of Pennsylvania higher education, students are beginning to feel the effect of federal budget cut-backs: tuition prices are hiking up. It also seems that providing affordable education to the even the average Philadelphian youth population has become a voided generosity: public schools from several lower-class residential neighborhoods have been locked, closed, and sold for retail development.

A figure from the Community College of Philadelphia’s informational titled Largest Tuition Increase Ever at Community College of Philadelphia launched in July of 2004, illustrates that: “Graduates of Community College of Philadelphia are some of the most employable residents in the city. A two-year degree or certificate can produce valuable workers in today’s most in-demand fields such as healthcare, information technology and the legal profession.” And continues on to explain that, “The cost of higher education has a direct impact on access. Increased tuition and fees to students should be of great concern to the City of Philadelphia.” Not only should the notion that providing affordable access to postsecondary education is a dwindling blessing be a riveting concern, but it should be recognized as a handicap for our progress as a community and society.

The decisions of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are exclusive to their own system of checks and balances. However, there still seems to be a trickle-down effect from the Federal recalibrations in our national budget: even community colleges have to raise tuition.  I believe that the “budgeters” have taken the worth of education too lightly. Maintaining an affordable community college tuition is a dedication to the Philadelphians who have been using this school as their “path to possibility.” For 50 years, this path has been improving the lives of many, and providing educational opportunity and inspiration for individuals to go on learning. What can we do to keep true to our mission, and our dedication to providing an affordable path to possibility? The  worth of investing in the delicate ecosystem of individuals in which the economy ultimately relies. These individuals have been the bricklayers of the Philadelphian economy. We must work to keep community college affordable, or else, as I believe, we will really see the shrinkage of the middle class.

As the the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, begin to recalibrate the funding available to Pennsylvania higher education, we students are the ones who feel the tug and pull of financial distress. Whether you have noticed it or not, the tuition will raise. This not out of the ordinary, but little by little it can sail out of reach to the common public. Will we stay silent about the tuition raise of the 2018 academic school year? Who will put in the muscle to craft the ‘solutions’ to preserve what moderate funding is left only behalf of higher education? Let’s keep CCP true to its mission and dedication to students. We’ve gone strong for 50 years, let’s go for another 50.

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