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Academic Institutions or money making machine?

Academic Institutions or money making machine?
US economy has also been contorted badly by the recession cyclone that has affected the financial stability of the world. Many industries/sectors have faced impairments in their economic health owing to the global recession. Education sector is also the one which instead of its increasing demand has faced adverse economic turn-downs. This is evident by the relentless increments in the fee demands of prevailing educational institutions. 
 

Institutional Structure

The structures of educational institutions are deliberately complemented with the condiments of catchy and persuading factors which are likely to be less value-adding to the academic outcomes of the students. Apparently it seems that--not all but some educational institutions are being strayed and drifted away from their core purposes of conferring quality educational programs. Money-making mindset of the educational institutions is likely to drive the adverse variance in the academic outcomes. These incessant educational growths and increasing fee onuses on the students may lead to the plausible destruction of educational sector. The money-making attitude clearly expounds that education is being considered as a business rather than a social service. Increasing student luxuries and leisure are unlikely to hone the educational quality which is the real need of students. 

High Fee Structure

The gruesome increases in the educational expenses are perspiring for the students. The thought of imparting the expenses of education as ‘an investment into the future’ would merely be regarded as a phony if students are not relieved of this immense burden of high educational expenses. Following table is likely to provide information about the increases in academic expenses in different periods of time for different institutions. 

Total tuition, room and board rates charged for full-time undergraduate students in degree-granting institutions, by type and control of institution: Selected years, 1980–81 to 2010–11
 
 
Year and control of institution
Constant 2009–10 dollars Current dollars
All institutions 4-year institutions 2-year institutions All institutions 4-year institutions 2-year institutions

All institutions

1980–81 $7,759 $8,756 $5,580 $3,101 $3,499 $2,230
1990–91 $10,620 $12,303 $6,361 $6,562 $7,602 $3,930
2000–01 $13,393 $15,996 $6,766 $10,820 $12,922 $5,466
2001–02 $13,842 $16,589 $6,955 $11,380 $13,639 $5,718
2002–03 $14,298 $17,185 $7,441 $12,014 $14,439 $6,252
2003–04 $15,086 $18,059 $7,809 $12,953 $15,505 $6,705
2004–05 $15,595 $18,666 $8,022 $13,793 $16,510 $7,095
2005–06 $15,939 $19,007 $7,881 $14,634 $17,451 $7,236
2006–07 $16,438 $19,611 $7,926 $15,483 $18,471 $7,466
2007–08 $16,617 $19,823 $7,819 $16,231 $19,363 $7,637
2008–09 $17,257 $20,606 $8,318 $17,092 $20,409 $8,238
2009–10 $17,649 $21,093 $8,533 $17,649 $21,093 $8,533
2010–11 $18,133 $21,657 $8,734 $18,497 $22,092 $8,909

Public institutions

1980–81 $5,938 $6,381 $5,072 $2,373 $2,550 $2,027
1990–91 $7,699 $8,485 $5,612 $4,757 $5,243 $3,467
2000–01 $9,390 $10,711 $5,990 $7,586 $8,653 $4,839
2001–02 $9,757 $11,185 $6,249 $8,022 $9,196 $5,137
2002–03 $10,118 $11,648 $6,666 $8,502 $9,787 $5,601
2003–04 $10,769 $12,432 $7,002 $9,247 $10,674 $6,012
2004–05 $11,153 $12,918 $7,208 $9,864 $11,426 $6,375
2005–06 $11,386 $13,188 $7,071 $10,454 $12,108 $6,492
2006–07 $11,731 $13,587 $7,235 $11,049 $12,797 $6,815
2007–08 $11,848 $13,748 $7,141 $11,573 $13,429 $6,975
2008–09 $12,375 $14,400 $7,641 $12,256 $14,262 $7,568
2009–10 $12,804 $15,014 $7,703 $12,804 $15,014 $7,703
2010–11 $13,297 $15,605 $7,925 $13,564 $15,918 $8,085

Private not-for-profit and for-profit institutions

1980–81 $13,686 $13,995 $10,766 $5,470 $5,594 $4,303
1990–91 $20,894 $21,423 $15,055 $12,910 $13,237 $9,302
2000–01 $26,456 $27,054 $18,453 $21,373 $21,856 $14,907
2001–02 $27,261 $27, 848 $19,248 $22,413 $22,896 $15,825
2002–03 $22,778 $28,310 $21,129 $23,340 $23,787 $17,753
2003–04 $28,679 $29,198 $22,779 $24,624 $25,070 $19,558
2004–05 $29,189 $29,690 $22,949 $25,817 $26,260 $20,297
2005–06 $29,307 $29,770 $23,312 $26,908 $27,333 $21,404
2006–07 $30,194 $30,703 $21,535 $28,439 $28,919 $20,284
2007–08 $30,475 $30,945 $22,200 $29,767 $30,226 $21,685
2008–09 $31,102 $31,576 $22,946 $30,804 $31,273 $22,726
2009–10 $31,023 $31,488 $24,483 $31,023 $31,488 $24,483
2010–11 $31,395 $31,975 $23,401 $32,026 $32,617 $23,871

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011


Impact

The trend line for the demand of education seems to be ameliorating / improving owing to the importance of education for sustenance in this global competition. The markets are being converged globally and in order to survive in allegiance with the international markets, education must be reckoned important. The increase in the academic expenditures is likely to trammel the execution of educational process. Students may start to consider education as no more than a burden. If the academic institutions turn a blind eye to the drastic consequences of increments in educational fees, then the overall growth process is likely to become tedious and incessant. 

Solution

The notion that ‘Education is an investment’ must be kept alive. The underlying context of this notion must be realized by the educational institutions. Giving vent to irrelevant luxuries may not complement the quality educational need of the students. Education must not be considered as a business. Instead, it must be regarded as a social service meant for the betterment mankind. Governments may also devise scholarship plans in order to support the accomplishment of learning objectives of individuals willing to earn quality education. Awareness must be created in order to maintain education as a basic and general utility instead of a precious luxury. The colleges and universities must decide whether they are ‘Educational institutions’ or merely ‘Money Making Machines’.  

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