March 13, 2014 by Latasha Myers
New state report cards reveal that some states are failing their students (or barely passing) when it comes to their commitment to higher education. As states are the No. 1 driver of rising college tuition, it’s about time we get to see just how well they are performing.
Today, Young Invincibles, a national organization committed to expanding economic opportunities for young adults, released report cards grading all 50 states on their investment in higher education. The report cards give each state an A-F letter grade based on five categories: tuition, spending per student, burden on families, state aid to students, and prioritizing education in the budget.
I AM NOT A LOAN has talked extensively in the past about how state disinvestment in higher education has contributed to the rising cost of college and subsequently the student debt crisis. Though all stakeholders — the federal government, states, and institutions of higher education — should be held accountable for rising tuition, cuts to higher education funding at the state level has been the main cause of tuition growth.
Young adults currently in the workforce and those making their way will soon be competing on a global scale with peers from around the world. That being said, each and every state must make a commitment to prioritize higher education in the budget so students can have a fighting chance of completing a degree and going on to a successful career — without being burdened with massive debt. Just as Fs won’t cut it in college, states cannot be allowed to continue to fail students in any stretch of the word.
“Large tuition increases and declining financial aid have driven students into greater debt at a time they can least afford it,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of Young Invincibles. “State legislators should act immediately to reprioritize higher education and make investment decisions that increase access to higher education, enhance financial security for this generation, and ultimately grow state economies.”
For more information and to find out how your state is doing, view Young Invincibles’ press release here.