If a particular university receives federal aid yet I am refused admission and the applicant in front of me is accepted because he submitted a more interesting video, is my government working for me or just for him? If I graduated high school even if I score lower in some academic subject, but my application is received two weeks earlier than any one else’s, shouldn’t I be considered first? Colleges are educational institutes not award institutes. Seats in a certain college should not be awarded based on anything other than a person’s ability to submit a timely application. Making education available to everyone, with loans, financial aid and work-study, is just the first step. Now we need to make every single educational institution available to everyone.
If there are 3500 Freshmen slots available, giving the first slot to the first application received would seem to be the only proper method to award those slots. The next 3499 slots go to the next 3499 applications, whether they are 3499 black enrollees, 3499 female enrollees or 3499 white male enrollees; first come, first served. When the slots run out the rest of the potential candidates go on a waiting list. They are waiting for one of the first 3500 to drop out, fail or move on. Then the next person in line gets offered that opened slot. It sounds exceedingly simple to me. No different than waiting for the next table to open up at a restaurant. Is anyone denied a table simply because they look like they don’t eat as neatly as the family behind them?
We need to make continuing education as available to everyone as we seem to think it already is. There should be no opportunity for personal selection based simply on a GPA or an interesting video. Every student should simply be able to go to any school they so desire. Isn’t that what making education available to everyone is all about? I was personally fortunate to be able to attend college. I did so only through the assistance of work-study, the National Defense Student Loan (NDSL) program, and several other financial aid services. Sure, I was broke; so was my family. I was the last of 13 children, my Dad had died some years earlier and it was just my Mom and I living together on her meager nurse’s aid wage. There was no extra money of any kind for anything.
Why was I so presumptuous as to think I should go to college? Because I am an American and I wanted to, that’s why. Every American should be given the opportunity to go to the college of his or her choice. That’s what America is all about; equality and democracy. Our country is an educated one; we achieved this status by our ancestors attending educational institutes beyond grammar school. We remain that way by making sure every citizen has the opportunity to experience continuing education.
Maybe schooling beyond high school isn’t for everyone. Maybe some of those who try to go to college won’t make it. Maybe they get a job first, or perhaps the studies will be just too difficult, or they may join the military. It doesn’t matter the reason for not being successful in college, they still deserve the right to try. Every American has the right to try to go to the college of their choice. If they don’t or can’t make it, then so be it. At least they were allowed to try.
Well, I didn’t make it to a Bachelor’s degree. I went far enough to get a couple of Associates degrees, but then I got married. Before long we had our first child. Expenses began to pile up and income began to dwindle. I saw all my brothers and sisters getting new cars, furniture, appliances and all the other toys so prevalent in the prosperous 1970’s. I thought I just had to have some of the good life also. So I left college about midway to my BS degree and secured gainful employment.
I was very successful. I did very well in my chosen vocation. The lack of a BS degree has never affected my employment until just recently, about 30 years later. Now it seems employers place more emphasis on having that piece of paper than they do on having a wealth of experience and capability. Never the less, I had the opportunity and I took my shot. I had financing available and I could have stuck it out. I at least had that chance. The failure, if it were called that, was completely of my own doing.
Of course, I am no longer as involved with government educational assistance as I was back then, but I believe loans, grants and other programs are still available. Our children of today can go through the same thing I did if they’ve a mind to do so. Having the opportunity does not necessarily mean it is going to be easy. I worked a full time job, went to school full time and worked part time in work-study. No, it wasn’t easy; but still, I did have the opportunity.
I chose to go to school locally, in our own community college system and at a local small university. I chose this because I was already working on having a family. I didn’t go back to school until after the military and after I got married. I made my choice for using the local resources and I have no regrets about doing so. However, if we make further education available to everyone then I believe we need to make higher educational institutes available to everyone as well.
The college application program seems to favor a certain individual. Why should a potential student have to apply just to register to go to school? Why should any individual or group of people be given the right to tell anyone you cannot come to our school? Why not just sign up, get enrolled and go to school. Then fail, drop out or make it work, as the situation dictates. Why are individual potential students compared with others when trying to get into that Ivy League or Big 10 University? How can college administrations get away with refusing educational resources to anyone? Why aren’t places in the next semester’s class based on first come, first serve?
These are legitimate questions that demand legitimate answers. In a country such as America it doesn’t seem proper to deny any citizen the right to partake in the wealth and benefits our country has to offer. My education days are fulfilled; I only hope that future generations have more opportunities than I was offered.