As education costs grow to new highs each year, going to college in state is having lots of benefits. The biggest benefit are those in-state discounts. The Connecticut Post today reported a 60% increase in local student enrollment just at UNH, and this was matched by similar reports coming in from Milford's 2008 Grads.
This week the University of Connecticut is moving in its freshman students, the campus was overtaken with maximum resident occupancy, and according to reports students resembled an army of ants carrying everything from mini refridgerators, to computers, fans, chairs and trunks.
Personally I have recieved reports that many in-state regional schools are drawing more students attending night classes and commuting to school from their homes in the nearby areas.
The most likely culprit of this increase in in-state student enrollment is likely the effects of a poor performing stock market hurting education investments, the credit crunch drying up home equity loans, and the decline in wages for yet another year. This also does not bode well for our college students in need of loans. A 2112 college graduate could end up being handed a $50,000 bill with a well earned degree.
After graduating the big challenge will come, this challenge is one of finding a good paying job amid the economic malaise, and intense global competition now an everpresent reminder of our times. More challenging, Connecticut has actually been shrinking over the last few years, and future student enrollment is expected to drop further in the K-12 arena limiting teaching jobs, in addition to finance jobs and all else.
This years grads are expected to be placed under more pressure than any other group before them. They will inherit a state, and country mired with severe socio-economic concerns yet to be understood let alone solved. I anxiously challenge the class of 2012 an beyond to focus on solutions that rectify and innovate our state away from its past. This is a challenge that will require the most innovative and progressive thinking of our times. The future is here!