Annotated Bibliography, Jacob Hacker (2012) — Inquiry 3

Writer’s Reflection

After researching the cost of secondary education I came to realize there are a couple of sides to this discussion. There are sides of the public such as, the students who are paying for the education, the colleges themselves, the government, people for the lowering or raising of costs, the list goes on. To speak generically however there are probably only a few stances on the costs itself. These stances include; the cost is to high, to low, just right, or the cost is what you as an individual makes it. Looking through my resources you’ll be able to distinguish which sources are for which of these stances.

I found a lot of information that really educated me on this topic. There are several things I was completely unaware of such as an act of Congress that increases funding of the Pell Grant to maintain the maximum amount of $5,500, which I myself have as a form of financial aid. Going into this research I had no idea how ignorant I was in regards to this topic. In researching I believe I have made myself a credible resource on this topic, and in doing so I can form a strong public argument in favor of my view of the topic.

I have credible and relevant resources that I received all my information from. These sources are a variety of scholarly articles, government websites, and mainstream sources. My findings include the raising of the national debt ceiling to $2.4 Trillion, rate of cost of college costs rising faster than rate of inflation, increased number of students in college and the expectancy of students enrolled in college by the academic year of 2015, how states individually are trying to bridge the gap of their deficit they are facing, and how to go to college inexpensively by making the right choices.

This topic is important in education because it is so vital for us as a society to further our education. There is even a quote from the New York Times article in which it says 25-34 year olds are less educated than older workers. Not only is it important for an individual to get a higher-level education, but also for society since there are many markets in which we are now competing globally. For a society to function and thrive in the 21st Century they need to be educated, if not they risk losing everything. We as a society would fall behind and our power as a country would soon slip away from us. This is what can be lost if education costs keep going up and potentially keeping people out of college. Many people see this, as does the government. I believe this is one reason for the debt ceiling increase so that financial aid can be provided to those who need it to continue on their path of higher-level education.

I am going to be writing to the head of the Office of Student Financial Assistance here at Miami University for 3b. The Office of Student Financial Assistance is the department that controls the tuition and costs here at Miami University. Here I will form my argument using the information I have collected and created a well thought out argument with the clear and convincing use of rhetoric to convince the office that costs of attending college at Miami are to high. I will also try to prove that there needs to be a change made and if not Miami could soon see themselves as an institution slowly start to lose everything.

 Annotated Bibliography

Cavanagh, Sean. “Amid Tight Budgets, Two-Year Colleges Play Growing Role.” Education Week 23.39 (2004): 1,. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.

This report shows that students can go to school for cheaper at a two-year college and then transfer to a larger state university and not be behind. Mentioned in here are the University of California schools and CSUs, and how they are reducing the number of students they let in as first year students due to the budget crisis. In doing so they are guaranteeing a spot once they enter their second and third years of college at their institutions. This article claims that this saves both the colleges and students money in the long run, as well as helping eliminate the budget deficit. Along with the benefit of saving money the thought of having a smaller class size at two year colleges is appealing to most, and something that I myself will vouch for since they will get more individualized attention.

This relates to the topic I have chosen because it is showing what students and colleges are doing as a result of rising costs. There are alternatives out there for students where they can receive quality education and save money, such as attending a two-year college and transferring. In the article on schools in California are spoken about, however it is evident that this goes on more than just in California. I myself live about ten minutes away from a two-year college and know of many people who have taken that route for education to save money. In all this information will help me in constructing a paper to show there are alternatives to expensive four-year colleges.


Censky, Annalyn. “Uncle Sam calls out steepest college tuition hikes.” Cnn. 13 June 2011. Web. 12 October 2011

About 530 colleges across the country will have to submit special reports to the federal government explaining why their tuition and student fees are going up according to this source. I do not know exactly how that will tie into 3a or if it will but it however is useful information and could be utilized in 3b when I take a stance on the argument.

Some information I might be able to utilize is the percentages at which some institutions have gone up. (e.g. Arizona State- 38%, Georgia State- 46%, Alabama State- 43%, 23 California State Universities range from 37%-46%) I can with this information show that college prices are in fact increasing dramatically by providing these statistics, and in 3b this will play in as part of my rhetoric.

Given the information I will also use The Higher Education Act of 2008, which was mentioned in this article. I believe the previous information helps in understanding the jurisdiction behind this act. The Act was the first time the government ranked the U.S. Universities by their affordability. I can use this as a chance to show that cost is a concern now, more so than it has ever been and it has a big effect on how students and families are going about choosing a college to attend.


“Continuing Resolution Maintains $5,500 Max Pell for 2011-12”. NASFAA. [N.D.] Web. 13 October 2011.

In this article the Budget Control Act of 2011 is discussed and how it impacts student aid. The Act raises the nations debt ceiling by $2.4 Trillion. With the debt ceiling raised this gives universities a little freedom as to how they will go about brining in more revenue without as much federal funding once it has been stabilized. The $2.4 Trillion debt ceiling in reality is just giving institutions time to come up this plan of action as to how they will “bridge the gap” that they are facing.

Rumors of the Pell Grant’s value decreasing are false and this cite shows why. The FY 2011 spending bill or Continuing Resolution (CR) is a big reason for this. Congress gave out $69 Billion to the U.S. Department of Education. $23 Billion of it plus $11.3 Billion which is guaranteed, are going to programs for the fiscal years of 2012 and 2013 to maintain the $5,500 Pell Grant. Along with this an additional $50 Billion will be provided over 10 years to maintain the $5,500 maximum Pell Grant. All this information is simply cold hard facts and they will allow me to show what is going on and to provide the audience with information so they are educated on the topic. I want to also show that the government has now taken steps to try and make paying for college easier for they realize that the costs are rising and the public isn’t making enough money to keep up with these rising costs.

Something that caught my eye while reading this article was the mention of the elimination of collecting two Pell Grants a year. This used to not be an issue because not as many people were qualified for the Pell Grant. However, collecting two Pell Grants by individuals is sending the nation into deeper debt. By allowing students to only collect one Pell Grant an academic year will save the government $8.8 Billion over the next 10 years utilize that money in maintaining the maximum $5,500 Pell Grant.


Holsendolph, Ernest. “The Costly College Game: How Will Low-Income Students Attain Degrees when Tuitions Continue to Increase and Customary Sources of Financial Aid Remain Stagnant?.” Black Issues in Higher Education 22.6 (2005): 22. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.

16 Million, that’s the record number of students expected to enroll in college in the year 2015. This is an increase of 2.6 million from 1995. College is becoming a reality for a lot more people now but the costs that go with it are putting people in huge debt. Debt is for the most part expected when planning to pay for college, whether that be a little amount or large most people accumulate some form of debt when attending college. The scary thing is however the rise of college is growing faster than inflation and general cost of living. This is why people complain that college is too expensive; it’s growing faster than even inflation!

Sources of financial aid have only gotten worse to go along with the rapidly increasing tuition rates. What used to account for about half a college’s revenue is now accounting for about a only a third of revenue in the year 2000 and only on the way down. The Pell Grant is a big topic of discussion when talking about financing college and financial aid. The Pell Grant used to account for 84% of tuition in 1975 and now it barely meets 40%, and with the cost of college raising that number will only fall.

This is relevant to my topic by showing two things; the increasing number of students who are attending college and also the rising costs of college. For the cost of college to be rising faster than inflation will give me a strong argument in 3b but for now with the use of statistical data I can again create a paper that will inform the audience without bias. Along with that the information about the Pell Grant will show that financial aid isn’t going up with the costs of secondary education, which puts more burden on the student and their family.


Lewnin, Tamar. “College may become unaffordable for most in the U.S.” New York Times. 17 February 2010. Web. 12 October 2011.

This is another source in which I will be able to pull several facts from.

  • From 1982-2007 college tuition and fees rose 439%, where median family income rose only 147%
  • Students borrowing money has doubled just the last decade
  • Net cost of college is 28% of the median family income and 76% when attending private institutions
  • Those families in the lowest 20% of income, public colleges account for 55% of the income.

When looking at these figures I will be able to only further my claim I am trying to make when I construct my argument, but again this provides solid information for the basis of what I will potentially claim. It’s hard for someone not to be looking at these figures and not realize that college costs are rising faster than people can afford.


Supiano, Beckie. “Student Aid Is up, but the Rise in College Costs Outpaces Family Incomes.” Chronicle of Higher Education 55.11 (2008): A23. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.

Pell Grant recipients grew from 5.2 Million to 5.4 Million in 2007-2008, thus making the number of private loans shrink by $173 Million to $19.1 Billion in the 2007-2008 year. This is due to a couple of reasons. For one there are more people in economic hardships and qualify for the Pell Grants. Secondly the borrowing in the federal system has increased. There are requirements based on need to receive the Pell Grant, so for the number to grow only goes to show that the general public is going to have trouble financing a college education. With all the information surrounding financial aid and the Pell Grant it will show that the need for aid has increased drastically.

This source also gives critical information that I will try to point out. Again all these facts are referring to the 2007-2008 year.

  • In state tuition and fees rose 6.4% along with out of state rising 5.2%. In terms of money in state rose $394 and out of state rose $866.
  • Private 4 year colleges have also increased. Up 5.9% this translates to an increase of $1,398.
  • Public two year colleges saw an increase of 4.7%, up $108. Prices however vary by region, with cheapest in the south and the most expensive in the northeast.
  • 29% of full time undergraduate attend colleges with listed tuition under       $6,000,
  • 19% attend colleges listed at $24,000 or more.

However tuition varies by region, with cheapest in the south and the most expensive in the northeast. As a whole though this is good information that I can tie into my argument to show that the cost of college is only going to continue to go up.


“What it costs to go to college”. College Board. [N.D.] Web. 16 October 2011.

Using this source I will be able to show both sides of the argument. This source neither claims college is to expensive or to inexpensive. In fact it even says that the choices you make can make your costs very different, in other words it is making the claim that college is only as expensive as you make it. Financial Aid is also brought up. There are scholarships and grants to help the student out and they won’t have to pay those back. It is also stated that on average after all grants and scholarships are awarded that the cost of college tuition ends up being $7,605 in state and $11,990 for tuition. These numbers make college sound more affordable. The claim is also made that the cost of room and board is almost irrelevant to make a claim against; for you would be eating and living no matter if you commuted or lived on campus so that is money that will be spent no matter what.