Decline in Student Population

Colleges and universities nationwide are seeing a decline in student population across the country due to the rising cost of college, and students who are not academically prepared according to a recent government study.

A commission formed by U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings found that too much time is being spent at colleges and universities on remedial work because many students have not mastered the basics. "There is an urgent need for change in America's higher education system," Spellings said yesterday. "We know higher education is the key to our children's future and the American dream, yet it is becoming more unaffordable and less attainable.

The commission also found that the literacy among college graduates over the past decade has declined, while the cost of tuition and fees has steadily increased. Those costs are among the main reasons that recent high school graduates attending a four-year college full time are no longer the norm, the commission found.

Students today are more apt to take dedicated coursework at various schools and colleges instead of pursuing a traditional degree. There are also many online programs where students can earn a diploma or certificate in a specific field. Unfortunately, many of the fastest growing jobs in our country do require postsecondary education, so there could possibly be a shortage of qualified workers in years to come.

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