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The American higher education is one of the most elaborate and excellent learning systems in the world. The distinctive factors of the learning structure include the multiplicity, convenience, independence, antagonism, and the extent of the US’ higher learning segment. The US has more than 6500 post-high-school foundations where roughly 4000 are seminaries and campuses that give degrees and about 2500 organizations that offer professional documentation.
However, the state of higher education differs from one state to another in terms of accessibility and affordability (SHEEO, 2015). This paper will examine the access and affordability of higher education in New York. The country is one of the most populous states in the US. It has a high concentration of institutions of higher learning and hence the choice of this paper.
Accessibility of higher education is a function of several factors, which include the availability of appropriate courses, the availability of colleges and institutions, the level of intake in such institutions, and the funding options that are available to students and the institutions. In the state of New York, accessibility of education is a major goal and function of the New York State Education Department.
Firstly, the state has one of the highest numbers of institutions of higher learning. Currently, the state has more than 270 institutions of higher education learning. Further, the state has one of the highest enrollments in the United States (HESC, 2014). With more than 1.4 million students currently enrolled in various institutions of higher education, New York has the third largest enrollment in the nation.
Secondly, the higher education institutions in the state serve a wide range of students from different racial groups in the United States and across the world. More than 75% of the fulltime students in New York State universities have access to financial assistance and options from the national, state, counties, and other higher education financial aid programs (SHEEO, 2015; NCHEMS Information Center, 2015).
For instance, the state distributes more than $26 billion in aid to localities to go towards financing various programs in educational institutions. The New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is the state’s higher education student financial aid scheme, which provides students with higher education funding to ensure that they can complete their education (The National Report Card on Higher Education, 2008).
The Higher Learning Services Company, which manages the TAP, offers several state sponsorship, centralized seminary admission grants, and the university savings plan (NCES, 2015). Through its guidance to students, families, and counselors, the HESC can place thousands of students to the right institutions throughout New York.
Thirdly, the state has various policies and regulations that promote the accessibility to higher education for students. Its non-discriminatory policies ensure that all students can access higher education, regardless of their racial groups. It is for the above reasons that New York has one of the highest enrollments in the country.
Affordability is an important factor and determinant of education accessibility in a nation. Affordability is a factor of the amount of fees that students are required to pay to access higher education in a given institution. The New York state has one of the lowest schooling charges that are required for its students in the United States.
Indeed, the cost of education in New York State is less than two-thirds of what other institutions in the United States demand. For instance, the average student’s fee requirement for an undergraduate degree is $15,545 per annum for non-resident students. In comparison, the University of Maryland charges $24, 830 for non-resident students (NCES, 2015). The low fees are a key indicator of the affordability of higher education in the state.
The state also provides financial assistance to students who enroll in the institutions of higher learning. For example, in the academic year 2013-2014, the HESC assisted more than 388,000 students with financial aid. During the period, more than $984 million was offered to students in the form of grants, loan forgiveness benefits, and scholarships (HESC, 2014). Further, the Tuition Assistance Program provided $935.5 million to fulltime undergraduate students throughout the state.
On average, each student received $3,093 towards tuition (HESC, 2014). The TAP provided financial assistance to more than 75% of all undergraduate fulltime students.
Students who received the bigger share of the allocation under TAP were enrolled at the State University of New York (SUNY) where they received $330,761 in the financial year 2013-2014. Students in ‘city’ universities received $274,206 while the independent universities took the remaining allocation (HESC, 2015). Overall, higher education in New York is affordable as compared to other states in the nation.
The above discussion has revealed that New York state has one of the most accessible and affordable higher education in the United States. Apart from the more than 270 institutions of higher education learning, the state also has policies in place to promote access to higher education for all groups.
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Further, the state offers financial aid to students through TAP, which is managed by the HESC. In the 2013-2014 academic year, students accessed more than $984 million in grants, scholarship, and loan forgiveness benefits. Further, students accessed more than $935.5 million in fees assistance. Thus, it is evident that the state has achieved great strides to ensure affordability and accessibility of higher education.
HESC. (2014). Higher Education Services Corporation. Web.
HESC. (2015). Helping New Yorkers Pay for College: Annual Report. New York, NY: HESC.
NCES. (2015). National Center for Education Statistics. Web.
NCHEMS Information Center. (2015). The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Web.
SHEEO. (2015). SHEEO-State of Higher Education Finance. Web.
The National Report Card on Higher Education. (2008). Measuring Up 2008. Web.