OUR VIEW: For many students, the cost of college is too high

Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:57
Written by The New Britain Herald

Local schools, universities and colleges are about to start the 2018-2019 season. But for one college this will be its last. Lincoln College of New England in Southington will be closing its doors for good.

According to a story in Tuesday’s paper, Jim Vernon, president of the for-profit school, sent out an email to students Monday morning explaining the school will be shuttered Dec. 31.

No one reason was given for the closing. The email to students read in part: “Due to some recent events, the decision has been made to close this college ...”

However, it was revealed that only 168 students received their diplomas at the school’s last commencement in May.

“... We engaged with Goodwin College, another NEASC-accredited institution in the region, to discuss assisting students with the completion of their programs of study,” the email continued.

While Lincoln College is not the first such institution to shutter in recent years, the fact that college officials have chosen to close the college no doubt upends its students’ plans to pursue a degree.

The closing also brings to light the issues many parents of high school seniors may be facing including whether or not their child can and should pursue a degree; and whether or not they can afford the high cost of tuition or take on student loan debt.

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year is $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges.

The tuition at Lincoln College is $18,780 per year.

High school students are encouraged to pick a course of study, prep for the SAT and use the Common App to apply to their colleges of choice. Less emphasis is put on how they and their parents are going to afford four years of study.

There are grants and scholarships, out there, but they barely make a dent in the cost of tuition, books and fees. Now, many institutions are feeling the result of rising tuition and lower enrollment.

As long as receiving a college degree brings the burden of years of loan debt for many, the pool of talented students will shrink.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:57. Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2018 19:00.