Higher education is beneficial to the individual and society. With higher education, a person can secure higher-paying jobs with fewer chances of unemployment. These individuals, hence, won’t be dependent on the government. But access to higher education remains a serious challenge for people worldwide. According to a survey in 2010, 82% of the students that attend college belong to resourceful families. On the other hand, 52% of students in college were from low-wage families.
There are many barriers when it comes to accessing higher education and gaining success in them. Few primary criteria that affect access to higher education are:
DIFFICULT ADMISSION CRITERIA
For so long, the admission criteria of colleges revolved around average point grade and test scores. But the average passing grade of American students is now an A. Because of the growing pool of student body, it has become difficult for universities to choose limited students, so they have shifted their focus to something more subjective. The criteria for admission to an esteemed university now includes exceptional talent, community service, and much more. It has changed the whole dynamic, as students are more pressured to perform in every aspect.
The only solution is to opt for extra-curricular activities along with studies. Join a debating club, play some instrument, or win a state-level competition. If you lack time for community service during studies, take up programs during vacations.
LACK OF STUDENT COUNSELING
Often, students have no place to seek help as they are unaware of their talents and don’t understand the need for proper guidance. Without student counseling, there are higher chances that a person will choose the field of higher education that may not suit them. If a person has no talent, skill, and interest in the selected area, they may become incompetent. Incompetency causes a person to drop out. They need answers to what type of path they need to choose to achieve specific career goals. For instance, if their goal is to be a dean of a university, they will be puzzled, and counseling can help answer any questions. Several aspirants ask questions like; what is a doctorate in education? How can they make it to the top management of an educational institute? And so forth. Suppose they want to be a scientist, their choice of field matters. It all comes down to career counseling.
If there is no available resource of career counseling nearby, you can career counsel yourself. Make a complete list of your strengths and weaknesses. Include every activity you enjoy. Think about the lifestyle you hope to achieve, and compare the list to your academic qualification. That way, you may have some idea about what career path is best for you. Once that is sorted, you can choose the field and make ways for success.
One of the main barriers to access to higher education is a matter of affordability. In the past few decades, factors such as inflation and the overall increase in rates have drastically increased college fees. Student debt levels are growing, and there are lesser chances of a person acquiring them. The matter is not just about the affordability of college fee, but colleges’ overall costs. These costs include every expense of living and getting an education. In only three decades, the tuition fee for a four-year college has doubled.
Students can get AP (Advanced Placement) Courses that add-up to college credit. They are free in high schools. But these free advanced courses will end the need to get more expensive courses in college.
While people believe that colleges reserve scholarships for high achievers, it is not valid, many students get scholarships based on athletics or even community service.
There is also the option of acquiring federal or college funded loans. Universities and colleges give these loans based on the financial background of a student. There are colleges like St Kates that offer financial aid programs to their students. And if nothing works, a student can revert to the old school study and work dynamic.
With the outbreak of a worldwide pandemic, students worldwide faced significant loss in their educational progress. The social distancing rules and lockdowns confined everyone to their homes. Many educational institutes chose to go online instead of doing nothing. The solution was to introduce an online educational system. But the online study system does not offer the same experience as live learning. Students with learning disabilities, even minor, reported not being able to understand. Live-learning involved multi communication through writing, audio-visual aid, and most importantly, body language. Students with disabilities like auditory processing disorder face problems in online learning.
While there is no obvious solution, students with disabilities can request access to extra learning material. Videos with closed captions, written files, and graphic aids can increase the learning experience.
There are many other barriers to education, subjective to each person’s case. But higher education institutes work their best to ensure accessibility and reliability. Government and educational institutes aim to increase the higher education ratio in the population. For this reason, they now facilitate students with many solutions to such barriers. There are guides and counselors available that can help you determine the answer to your problems.
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