Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission told lawmakers recently that lottery proceeds cannot keep up with the demand for scholarships. That means the financial burden on the student and his family will increase, and it’s no wonder.
The problem is that the cost of higher education has grown at a ridiculous rate.
The College Board says tuition and fees at public universities have surged almost 130% over the last 20 years — while middle class incomes have stagnated.
Since 1988, if incomes had kept up with surging college costs, the typical American would be earning $77,000 a year. But according to the latest data available — the median income was $33,000. Adjusted for inflation, the middle class actually earned $400 less than it did in 1988.
CNN contributor Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, said recently that Americans spend 42% more on higher education now than we did in 2000.
Again, while real spending power has declined for the middle class.
Vedder, who knows higher education from the inside, says that too many times, the customer is seen as faculty, influential alumni, administrators, and politicians.
But college presidents and their governing boards need to understand who the customer is.
He is the student and family members who are on the hook to pay for college. And higher education needs to get that message sooner than later.
New GHSA Rules
The Georgia High School Association last week voted to hold separate championships in all sports for public and private schools in Class A.
The move will most likely keep a large number of small public schools, many here in south Georgia, from leaving the GHSA to form their own league.
The Class A public schools believe they are not able to compete on a level field against private schools who are able and have to recruit students.
To back up their claim, The public schools point to the high number of state titles private schools have won in Class A in all GHSA athletic and academic competitions.
Private schools are naturally not happy and now some of them are said to be considering leaving the GHSA for the Georgia Independent School Association.
If some of them do, it might be best for everyone concerned since the GISA membership consists of private schools who have similar missions and also have to recruit students.
The disturbing trend in high school sports is the emphasis for some private and public high schools to win championships.
While the purpose of athletic competition is to of course to win, it is also important to have students participating in the extracurricular athletic and academic activities.
And it is hard to get kids to put down their computer games and ipods to take part in activities when even they can see the playing field is not fair.