College for free?


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It seems that, as the 21st century economy shifts into an increasingly demanding environment for the average American citizen, the prioritizing on services which remain under the faucet of federal funding have been reconsidered. In the case of Pennsylvania higher education, students are beginning to feel the trickle-down effect of federal budget cut-backs: tuitions are hiking up. As though providing affordable education to 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 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

IF YOU HAD A KEY TO THE FUTURE, WOULD YOU OPEN THE DOOR?

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.

A two-year degree or certificate can produce valuable workers in today’s Albeit, The decisions of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—our ever-generous liege are exclusive to their own system of checks and balances, but 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 on track to achieve their goals, ‘The Path to possiblity’. 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, with ancestors laying the very foundation of the railway systems and docks that went on to make Philadelphia the import/export super-influence it is today—and the ever-appreciating value that can be reaped from a population with eased access to the staples of a successful society, and ultimately economy— the treasures of education, literacy, leisure, and healthcare.

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 City of Philadelphia, alongside it’s liege, the–Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—begins 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 is 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 on the 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.

-Anyssa Q. El-Manfaa / [email protected]

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College for free?