The economy has been in a decline the last couple of years and has not shown any signs that it’s going to improve any time in the next few months to a year. With a slow economy jobs are scarce and cash flow lessens for most working class citizens. Everyone is being hit hard by the hard times in the economy; trying to do what they can with the options they are being dealt. College students seem to have it the hardest at this point then let’s say college students over fifty years ago. The financial burden that are on students is becoming worse it feels with each passing year.
It is starting from the very bottom with incoming freshmen all the way up to seniors planning for life after graduation. Freshmen are looking for ways to afford tuition, an increase of working college students, and seniors fearing graduation and the unknown that will follow with it. For many students in middle school and even freshmen year of high school, there was not much thought that they would have the need to be applying for as many scholarships or financial aid and neither did most parents.
Parents of course knew money would become tight but never to a point that they felt had they to give their children restrictions on where to apply for college. In a recent survey that website meritaid. com held 57% of students are considering a less prominent school because of money reasons (Economy). In addition to meritaid. com survey, a survey done by Applywise. com and Next Step Magazine concluded that 50% of families reported restraining their children’s college choices to less expensive options (Economy). Many upcoming freshmen are also taking the route of going to Community College their first few years of college.
Community College is a more affordable price and then transfer to a more impressive college their junior or senior year. Since it is not important as to where you spent most of your college career, but what it is important is where you are graduating from. That is something all parents can appreciate these days. This is just the tipping point for many college students. In recent years the percentage of college students working their way through school is increasing. Of course the number has always been high, but according to the National Survey of Student Engagement, 66% of college students are working to pay off-campus fees (Slow).
Many have to work more than one job to support their way through college, even with the help of parents. The slow economy is causing students to become savers, something most college students and young adults are not use to. The economy is forcing students to make the choice to buy the basic needs and to stay away from spending their money on things they can live without (Slow). So students are saving every penny and working two possible more jobs just to make through a semester. Time that should be spent studying or even just relaxing with friends after class is precious time that student have to give up just to afford being at college.
Seniors are being faced with even harder choices. They need to choice what to do after they graduate. Many would like to go out and get a good paying job with their new degree, but according to a survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 22% less graduates from the graduating class of 2009 (Economic). With this fact, graduates are either choosing to go to under graduate school or following President Obama’s call for public service.
Students making the decision to continue their schooling to avoid the recession are increasing the competition for admissions. The rest are taking a different route after graduation. Public services are becoming an increasingly more popular choice at the time. Most graduates are even finding it more for filling then going in to high paying corporate job. A few examples would be Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America. Teach for America is a nonprofit organization that sends graduates to work low-income urban and rural public schools.
The slow economy is causing a lot of people to make life style changes, and to really think about what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Being in a recession is not always thought as being a good thing, however, this recession has given students a chance to take charge of their life and the responsibilities that they have. Students are following their hearts more than going for the job with the big paycheck. They are realizing that finding jobs in the corporate world is more difficult in the past few years, giving students a chance to take a look at them self and pick a career that makes them happy.
A career that could really make the difference in another person’s life and motivate them to follow their dreams as well. So a recession might not always be great when it comes time for paying for college or getting that big paying job, but it is helping people instill hard working ethics and a chance to do something with their life that they find as meaning to it. In the end the struggling students went through will in the end make them better people, people that could help end this recession.