Saturday, March 28, 2009

Searching for Colleges: A New Equation

By C. Brown

ISAAC: A week ago Friday was "Pink Friday" in California, the day when teachers across the state received pink slips as a result of the budget crisis. My high school was lit up with talk of teacher layoffs and which programs are going on the cutting block. I couldn't stop thinking about what these budget cuts would mean for my high school next year after I've graduated.
Then I realized: With colleges getting hit hard by the recession, I may experience the same kinds of cutbacks next year -- to programs that I consider essential.

The ailing economy, it seems, has added a whole new dimension to my college search, threatening to change the nature of the education I had been counting on.
When I was searching for colleges in the fall, all the colleges would have pamphlets and admission officers pitching why they were the best choice. They flaunted their study-abroad programs, their broad range of courses, their small class sizes and their well-funded student organizations.
But times have changed since then. Many of the qualities that schools advertised when I was putting together my short list may be reduced significantly or cut altogether. Will some of the very things that made a school appeal to me in the first place be gone? What if they cut funding for their radio stations, for example? What if they cut back the English department?
Recently, for instance, I found out that the endowment of one of my top college prospects has been cut by about a quarter. But this is where it gets tricky. It's a mystery to me, and I assume to all other applicants, how exactly this will change the quality of the school in the years to come. While some schools may choose to cut their building projects and research programs, others will cut professors or financial-aid funds -- and some will have no choice but to cut all of the above.

To Read More Click Here:

No comments:

Post a Comment