As a university student, the current tuition rates are one of my biggest concerns as a student. In fact, I feel that the price of higher learning is creating a generation of workers who don’t really know how to think. What I mean by this is that we are not raising a generation of problem solvers, so much as we are test takers.
The best kind of any worker in any profession isn’t the one who got the highest grades in their courses, its the one whose understanding of the material is exceptional enough to be able to apply that knowledge in situations. Of course, these kinds of professionals are not easy to sculpt. Often, patience and a clear mind are necessary to achieve that level of understanding in any field. Aside from passing courses, tuition is one of the most stressful and distracting things that can occupy a student’s mind. Realistically speaking you cannot expect a student to focus entirely on understanding their course materials, when they are somewhere in a five figure debt by their third year. As such, we are left with a choice between wanting to truly understand what we’re learning, and passing the class so we do not waste some two-thousand dollars on a single course. The result is learning just enough to pass the exam. Actually, it is more along the lines of only wanting to pass the exams and course. I speak for many when I say that we would be elated to have copies of old exams, so we know exactly what to expect and what to study in order to pass.
To clarify, I don’t want to paint a picture of failures making it out with diplomas in hand. Certainly the graduates of the various colleges are knowledgeable in their fields and are capable of succeeding and contributing in our world. What I am trying to say is that we would have more doctors, engineers, lawyers, and the likes, which are better at their jobs and fields if they were given an opportunity to focus only on their material. Stress can cloud an individual’s ability to excel in their academics, but it doesn’t stop after graduation. Often time’s new graduates are still plagued by their incredibly high tuition debt. Imagine leaving with a quarter million dollar debt after graduating from medical school! A doctor shouldn’t be concerned by how much they owe their university when they have patients to deal with. This will inevitably negatively affect the doctor’s ability to focus on patients, give accurate diagnostics and properly and efficiently carry out necessary medical procedures.
People won’t choose degrees or jobs that will result in crippling debt, but could result in failing a class. The stress and worry that is placed on our shoulders everyday isn’t going to help us in our academic and career life. This system can’t last, its damaging to society as a whole.