The article begins with a metaphor comparing admission to a university to a baseball game: the wealthy start the game at third base, the middle class start the game at first/second base, and the poor start the game at the home plate. Who do you think has the advantage? Not only do students from low socio economic status (SES) often have to work harder than others to get into college in the first place, but, they have to work even harder just to stay. Often times, they have to work two jobs and don’t leave enough time for school work so their grades suffer, or, they take out large federal loans which cripple their economic status even more upon graduation.
As tuition costs increase state sponsored funding has decreased. The hard choices aren’t necessarily only for low SES but also for regular students who have seen their funding decrease. Myself for example had to choose in September to either (a) get dental insurance for the year or (b) make a car payment. I chose the dental insurance which was a blessing because I now have to have a root canal done which costs $1,800 plus a crown which costs $1,000! The dental insurance covers $1,000 so I will still be financially strapped by having to pay $1,800 on my own. I read a report one time that the majority of Americans don’t have $500 set aside in case of an emergency. We are all living pay check to pay check and I can only imagine how much worse this is for those living at or below the poverty line.