Why National Higher Education Day Matters

Image: Isabel Barajas De Benavidez, FB

It’s no secret that everyday life in North America is more expensive today than in previous decades. In some states, home prices have nearly tripled from 1990 to 2000. Likewise, university tuition has doubled or tripled, making higher education financially prohibitive to students or their parents.

In fact, the rising cost of higher education has led Americans to struggle with a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.

Image: Mark Kantrowitz (SavingForCollege.com)

A recent report by the College Board titled “Trends in College Pricing 2017” studied changes in tuition rates over three decades.

Their report found that the dollar increases in tuition and fees ranged from $1,550 (from 1987-88 to 1997-98) to $2,690 (from 2007-08 to 2017-18) at public four-year institutions. When it came to the private nonprofit four-year sector, tuition ranged from $5,860 (1987-88 to 1997-98) to $7,220 (from 2007-08 to 2017-18).

Trends in College Pricing 2017 also shared insights into the underlying forces behind college fee increases. These included changes in state funding levels and enrollments, institutional expenditures and revenues, and the distribution of endowment resources.

Aside from fee increases, wages have not kept pace with inflationary costs of housing and healthcare. This has led to household debt. Given that, people are justifiably reluctant to seek more loans for higher education. As a result, many talented and intelligent people give up on achieving the higher education they deserve. National Higher Education Day was created to change this.

Although National Higher Education Day is on June 06, it is focused year-round on:

  1. Championing the accessibility of Higher EducationEducating students about financial aid opportunities

  2. Encouraging independent learning and growth

  3. Motivating academic ambition and passion

  4. Advocating for academic resources

Some of you may be wondering: These days, does higher education make a difference in your life? What about all those billionaires who dropped out of college? To put it bluntly, the argument that many wealthy people “made it” without a university degree (and so can you!) is called “the myth of the college dropout.” These types of people are few and far between, not the norm. In fact, a glance at some bios of “self-made” 1 percenters will show you that they did not “go it alone.” Powerful family members or influential friends helped pave their way or finance their dreams.

For those of us who lack “insider help” or that right-place-right-time luck, a university degree is a real boost. Here are just some of the things higher education can give you (aside from a diploma).

Extra Benefits of Higher Education

1. Networking

A university setting opens you up to meeting people from around the world. While many may only be acquaintances, do your best to forge meaningful relationships with them all. Strong friendships lead to opportunities that go far beyond academia. Relish the time you spend working on assignments and projects. These friendships may indeed lead to future job opportunities.

2. Communication skills

While having stellar grades can help land a job interview, once you’re in the interview hot-seat, it’s all about how easily you can communicate. Can you answer questions clearly, express your ideas, and explain details? University courses force you to communicate, create, and be a critical thinker. Since employers know that good communicators make good leaders, you’ll want to hone those skills in your college. Speak out in class, organize functions, or help out at events. By the time you graduate, these skills will give you confidence, eloquence, and help you succeed in the workplace.

3. Project management and cross-functional skills

Often, universities have opportunities to collaborate with other students and sharpen cross-functional skills. For instance, you could join theatre groups or volunteer to help with charities or community events. These efforts cultivate your cross-functional “team-based” skills that can help you get jobs later.

As you can see, not only can a higher education help set your resumé apart from others– it can introduce you to people who may help you secure a job later on.

While tuition is steep for North Americans, students from other countries often have it worse. In Sierra Leone, for example, pregnant teens or teen mothers are discriminated against when seeking higher education. For more information on what education is like for young women in other countries, watch this 4-minute video.

For other inspiration about girls’ education, you may like a documentary called Girl Rising. This film is was what sparked the beginning of R.O.S.E. clothing and what drove us to help make positive change.

In fact, to this day, our Girls’ Education collection donates 15% of proceeds to She's The First.org.

She's the First (STF) is an organization that fights gender inequality through education. They support girls who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. STF also trains students everywhere to be global leaders. One such success story from STF is of Maheshwari, who recently got a master's degree in Applied Genetics.

The founder of R.O.S.E. Clothing, Heather Arellano, is also living proof of how “being the first” in your family can change everything for the better. Not just for yourself, but for others, as well.

Heather and R.O.S.E. Clothing believe that a girl with an education is unstoppable. Help us give girls around the world a better chance at life, by purchasing clothing or accessories from this specific collection.

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