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Although, in the United States of America, higher education has been considered, for a long while, as the best of the best, there is an urgent force that requires this assertion to be assessed quickly and critically. It should be conceded that even the best of the best is not without a number of problems. Even though it may be said that some of the loudest criticism comes from a group of self-righteous critics, some of the criticism is critic-biased, most of it is important and raises issues that need to be remedied.

Even though, the American system of higher education is said to be among the best systems, if not the only, it receives sharp criticism. No matter the source that voices the criticism, we must agree that now, more than ever, is not the moment to dance ourselves lame before the main dance. A lot, as it stands, need be done. Many critics have been arguing that what is discussed in the educational boardrooms portrays a picture that is immensely different from the reality on the ground. The critics argue that the situation on the ground reflects something completely different.

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This study will be concerned with analyzing some of the key challenges faced by the American higher education. In order to successfully understand these challenges, it is important first to understand how the system operates in terms of funding, functions, and how it performs its mission. With this understanding in mind, it will be easy to analyze the system of higher education in the U.S. and identify some of the problems faced by the U.S. higher education system. Having studied the broad system of education and understanding the components that make the system operational, I will focus on the individual components in order to understand their functionality and the probable loopholes that may be the cause of the problems experienced in the higher education system in the recent years.

For Punke, the criticism is mainly centered on two major concerns. He identifies the challenges facing the educational system as one, concerned with upgrading the school personnel. Second, he identifies the upgrading of the teacher. In the first categories, this is concerned mainly with all those individuals who run functions that support teachers. The later category is comprised of the teachers. It is in this category that the Chinese saying, there is no bad student but a bad teacher, applies. The present-day society is more complex than ever before. Now more than ever the teacher needs to be constantly upgraded so that (s) he is properly equipped so as to address problems experienced all over the world. The shifting structures of the family and society, as a whole, need a teacher who is dynamic and constantly upgraded. It should, however not be assumed that these are the only problems. Nay, there are others as numerous and as diverse and complex as the society itself.

Importantly, there is the issue of the grading system which does not capture the performance of the student. It is worsened by the fact that there is no uniformity of curricula across the states. Every state offers a different curriculum from its neighbor. In the end, we have a huge difference between the curricula. A difference so huge that the systems produce different standards among students.

After scrutinizing the system, one of the things that come out clearly is that the system has a deficit of opportunities as well as a deficit of learning. Few people can afford the education, fewer still benefit from it. A study carried out by Pew Research Study indicated that many people were dissatisfied with the system of higher education. More than fifty percent of the people interviewed in the study felt that the system cheated them and it did not offer them value for their money. More than two thirds felt that college education is expensive. Both student and teachers also cited financial problems, for one reason or another. Here is where the question of financial funding of the educational system falls squarely.

Following a clear identification of the primary challenges facing the higher education, it is important to evaluate at the factors that fuel the problems. These two problems arise as a result of funding difficulties that bring inequality in the way opportunities are distributed among the American citizens. Various studies clearly show that those who come from an economically weak background do not have equal opportunity of accessing higher education in comparison to those who come from rich backgrounds. This promotes a biased elitist schooling for those from higher up in the economic scale.

This, however, does not mean that the elitist system does not ail in its own way. It does. And these ails, too, need to be addressed. But it is those on whom the economic scale tips that suffer the blunt of this inequality. And these are, sadly, the majority of the American population. Therefore, unequal distribution of resources denies many qualified students joining colleges and universities to access higher education, and if they do, it is only intermittently. In the end they are denied a fundamental right. And let us always remember that denying a people a single right is, in fact, denying them all their rights. Education is more than just a fundamental human right. It is also an enabling right. It is education that gives people a voice, a channel, through which they can ask, fight and even demand all other rights. Give people quality education and you give them all the fundamental rights. But we need to address the cause of the inequality the funding system. The funding system fuels this problem of inequality by not providing assistance to those students who truly need financial support so that they could have access to higher education.

Finally, a clear study of the system indicates that there is a deficit in learning. This deficit occurs once the students are in the institutions of higher learning. A high population of those students who come from poor backgrounds end up undertaking courses which they are not interested in as compared to students from rich backgrounds. The final draft will focus on how the problem of funding has led to inequality in higher education in the United States of America. The paper will also focus on the individual problems that have been brought by poor funding policies and how these problems have proved to be a challenge in the way the American higher education system is managed. Therefore, the final paper will focus on funding as a major cause of failure that is experienced in American higher education.

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