Sandy Baum and Jennifer Ma published an article about the rising cost of college tuition in the United States of America. The article, which was fully sponsored by College Board, examines the historic trend in college education with the aim of explaining why the country has experienced a consistent rise in tuition fee at rates higher than that of median income.
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The two authors are experts in the field of education with many years of experience both as consultants and educators at various institutions. It is no doubt that their current employer, the College Board, has influenced the content of this article, making it very biased.
This is not only seen in the precise topic chosen for article but also the content provided. Instead of pointing out the rapid increase in the cost of college tuition, they have provided a trend in college pricing with a series of justifications why these increases were necessary.
The biasness is obvious given that this board is an interested party. It is one of the bodies in the education sector that are directly responsible for the rising costs of higher education, especially its unnecessary exams and other requirements for individuals who are planning to join colleges. In this paper, the researcher will critique this article and use it to confirm that rates of college tuition in the United States are high.
According to Kelly, college education in the United States is increasingly becoming unaffordable. It is becoming a preserve for the rich and if measures are not taken to address the problem, then things may become worse in the near future (87). Campos believes that one of the major reasons why this cost is increasing is due to unnecessary programs that students are subjected to before joining college (par. 3).
The scholar points out College Board as one of the examples of bodies that are becoming redundant and inflating the cost of college tuition for no good reason. The board has exceeded its mandate by introducing a myriad of exams that should be sat by candidates who are planning to join college. The cost of sitting for their exams has been increasing consistently over the years, something that has been criticized by students, parents, and human rights activists.
The institution was established as a non-profit making organization meant to enhance entrance into college. However, its top executives currently earn massive income from the proceeds of the services they render. By sponsoring this article, the aim was deliberate, biased, and meant to convince the public that all is well.
The article that purports to agree with the current statistics about the rising cost of college tuition was choreographed with the sole intention of convincing its audience that there is nothing alarming with the current cost of college tuition.
Baum and Ma say that “Prices at public two-year colleges remain relatively low” (7). Recent studies by Davidson show that the cost of tuition at both public and private two-year colleges has also been on the rise (par. 4). Private institutions, especially those that offer 2-year diploma courses, know that they are in competition with public institutions. Therefore, the tuition fee they charge may not deviate much from that in public schools (Healy par. 2).
The increasing tuition fees at these private facilities only mean that public institutions are also charging high fees. However, the article erroneously states that this cost has remained relatively low. A research by Selingo confirms that there has been an average increase in cost of higher education in the United States (85).
The biasness of the authors is understandable because their sponsor, College Board, benefits a lot from the current system. Publishing a report that may make their institution to be seen as one of the root-causes of the problem may jeopardize its credibility as a non-profit institution funded by tax payers’ money.
According to Ehrenberg, one of the reasons why the cost of college tuition has been on the rise is the associated costs that colleges have to incur to admit students (47). Both public and private higher learning institutions currently run programs which ensure that they are self-sufficient.
It means that public colleges are now at liberty to admit privately sponsored students as a way of boosting their income. To do this, they need information that can help them identify students who may want to enroll in their institutions. College Board has data about students who have sat for their exams and the courses they desire to undertake in colleges. Ehrenberg observes that currently, the board is charging a fee to give out such information to the colleges (46).
This is an increased cost that must be factored into the tuition fee. This further confirms that the sponsors of this research are interested parties that cannot allow truth about the rising cost of higher education to be revealed. It explains why the authors are not very clear in their explanations. On one hand they accept that the cost of higher education is increasing. On the other hand, they give a series of justification why there is a sudden increase in the cost.
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The authors have used their expertise in the field of education to come up with a compelling argument about the issue at hand. A critical analysis of their content reveals that their main aim was to eliminate the concern about increasing tuition fee in the country. The two authors have skillfully waded into the debate by accepting that tuition fee is on the rise. This enables them to be in agreement with critics and victims of the problem.
As Selingo notes, it is easier to convince people when they feel you are part of them than when they view you as an outsider (112). The author finds themselves into the heart of the masses that are aggrieved by the increasing cost of learning.
After gaining this advantage of being insiders, they then deliberately explain forces that could have led to this rise and possible solutions that can be used to address the problem. Not a single one of the solutions provided in this article mentions the need for elimination of unnecessary costs arising from charges made by College Board.
The article reviewed was very comprehensive in terms of statistical figures it collected and compiled. The information provided confirms the fears of the American society that the cost of college tuition has been on the rise over the past few decades. However, it is easy to identify the biasness in the information provided in the article. The authors are keen to justify the increasing tuition fee because their sponsor is one of the institutions responsible for this problem.
Baum, Sandy, and Jennifer Ma. “Trends in College Pricing.” Trends in Higher Education Series 12.6493 (2012): 1-40. Print.
Campos, Paul. “The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much.” The New York Times. 2015. Web.
Davidson, Adam. “Is College Tuition Really Too High?” The New York Times. 2015. Web.
Ehrenberg, Ronald. Tuition Rising: Why College Costs so Much. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002. Print.
Healy, Patrick. “Hillary Clinton to Offer Plan on Paying College Tuition Without Needing Loans.” The New York Times. 2015. Web.
Kelly, Andrew. High Costs, Uncertain Benefits: What Do Americans Without a College Degree Think About Postsecondary Education? New York: Center on Higher Education Reform, 2015. Print.
Selingo, Jeffrey. College (un)bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students. New York: Cengage, 2013. Print.