A broken education system

Fellow students go ahead and turn your pockets inside out. Or better yet, give them the clothes off of your back.
The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System (ULS) has approved a 10 percent increase in tuition prices, a hike that will take effect at Southeastern and the other eight universities if each member meets the requirements of the GRAD Act for the Fall 2013 semester. Southeastern is expected to meet such requirements.
The average tuition for 2012-13 was $5,086.50 per semester, according to a ULS press release. With the increase of 10 percent, or $508.60, this would bring the average tuition for 2013-14 to $5,595.10 per semester.
And that total is the fifth from the top among the nine ULS schools.
Southeastern has been and will probably remain one of the most affordable schools in Louisiana. But is “affordable” the word we should be using? Is it more along the lines of not quite breaking the bank? Maybe so.
Then again, student loan debt and default rates are at an all time high. The average debt of a 2011 graduate was $26,600, according to a report released by the Institute for College Access and Success. The U.S. Department of Education Data shows that college students are defaulting at a rate not seen in 14 years.
So where can students turn if paying out of pocket or postponing that cost simply is not viable? Well, the states of course.
But the state is one of the main reasons we find the ULS increasing tuition prices. Louisiana is not cutting, but destroying one of the simplest foundations of society – a knowledgeable youth. A new report released by State Higher Education Executive Officers finds that Louisiana is the third highest in the nation in terms of dwindling funding for higher education.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Southeastern and would tell any person questioning whether or not to go to college to take that leap of faith, but at what cost? It’s proven that those with a college education earn much more than those with a high school diploma, but if struggling students fall under the mounting costs, then paying any debt back is more difficult.
“No one is excited about increasing the cost of education for our students, but given ongoing reductions in state support, it is an absolute necessity,” said Dr. John L. Crain in a Feb. 25 Message from the President.  “Our pledge to our students is that we will continue striving to be as efficient as possible in operating the university.”
No, I am not excited, but I do not blame you. The state of Louisiana should be ashamed for cutting so much from higher education. In the end, the future of Louisiana will vanish because they have done little to change my mind.