Today, many parents in the United States are worried — worried about their children’s physical health if schools open, worried about their mental health in case they don’t, and worried about the quality of their education in either case. While the worry about health is driven by COVID-19, the concern about how well schools are preparing children to succeed predates the pandemic.
One of the main roles high school plays, aside from providing a general understanding of core subjects, is to create a thirst for learning to accompany young people into their early adulthood and beyond. For many, this means continuing on to higher education. However, the cost of attending college has increased eight times faster than average salaries, making many question whether pursuing a college degree is worth it.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the tension between the demand for higher education and the cost of that education. While many families face economic hardship or uncertainty, and many colleges and universities face existential threats to their campuses and faculties, overall enrollment is in decline.