There was a time when each American generation thought that the next generation would do better than themselves. A good college education would lead to employment in a company for thirty years. The dream of an American education is slipping away due to the rising cost of post-secondary education. Now it seems that a college education does not guarantee sufficient income. Some college graduates are returning home because they cannot afford student loans and the cost of living.
Students who have to work to pay for college are finding it difficult to keep pace with the cost of living. It is not uncommon to have a book cost $100.00 or more. Students do not get much in return for selling their book back to the bookstore. The cost of room and board is rising steadily as the price for food, electric and gas continue to increase. The recent changes in minimum wage also lag behind the typical living expenses. Students are facing financial challenges outside of the classroom that are causing them to sit out for a semester or two.
The American Dream is also slipping in the K12 systems throughout the country. Too few students are prepared to function in a world that is filled with computer technology. Students need exposure to technology early. Some say that analyzing the changes in the American Dream by looking at elementary school is not appropriate. The country needs to take a long term look at how each citizen is prepared for future employment demands. The types of jobs that K12 students must fill will require different types of abilities which must be an integral part of their current education.
There is a sea of changes happening in the financial markets that provided families with funding to pay for K12 education and college. Individuals who have a decent income are finding it more difficult to obtain a loan with a good interest rate. It is putting a greater pressure on families to save more money. Unfortunately, saving money can be difficult when a couple is living in a major city. The inability to obtain fair interest rates may force students to take out loans with higher interest rates that will last 30 years.
People all over the world still come to the United States with the expectation of the American dream. The dream that they can start new lives and have greater freedom continues to draw them to this country. They understand that having access to education will increase their children’s employability. It’s important that the country uses the talents of every citizen that is here. America needs to prepare for an increasing diversity in the workforce of the 21st century.