Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recession and Higher Education

Story: Recession alters parents' plans for kids' college by Lisa Black

This article demonstrates how the financial downturn is affecting families thinking about sending their children to college, and does a good job taking a much larger trend-- a bad economy-- and showing how it affects parents and their kids.

It also shows how the entire college selection process is being altered, drawing a link between the increase in the number of schools students are applying to and the downturn: students are diversifying to make sure they get into a school they can afford, and there has been an increase in applications to public universities.

There is a good mix of students, parents and experts in the story. The situations of the families personalize the story and take it beyond a mere description of the statistics of how the application process is changing.

The idea behind the story is a fairly obvious one. Education is expensive, and it makes sense, for many students, to scale back and knock out gen eds at a community college rather than attending a more expensive school. But the story goes beyond the figures and practicality and captures the disappointment of kids who wanted to go elsewhere, and parents who wanted to be able to send them there. The tough situation of a family where the mother is ill and medical bills prevent them from spending more on their son's education, or where the parents had dreams for their children to do more than they did, show the very real impact of the downturn.

1 comment:

  1. I agree - stories that include the human element are more poignant and hard-hitting than stories that just have statistics and quotes from government officials. It's surprising how many stories that are about or effect the everyday person lack that connection - real stories, real people, real relevance. I think this is a prime example - downturn of the economy effecting college prospects. What kind of story would this have been without the human anecdotes? Cold & a little boring.