COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY CHALLENGE
The Federal Government has set goal of increasing national college attainment rate to 60% by 2025. The National Center on Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) estimates that achieving the President’s goal would require an additional 8.2 million postsecondary graduates by 2020. This goal cannot be achieved until the U.S. provides accessible, affordable college opportunities for low-income students, particularly first-generation college students and their families.
- The cost of higher education has increased dramatically. Student debt exceeds $1 trillion.
- In the 21st century, adults need dramatically different skills to secure career success
- Existing institutions do not have the capacity to meet this demand
- Existing institutions have struggled to serve economically disadvantaged students (the four year graduation rate at community colleges is 10%)
- Significant numbers of high school graduates do not have the skills necessary for success in four year colleges
Recent data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce demonstrate that, by 2018, 60 percent of U.S. jobs will require postsecondary education. “By 2018, we will need 22 million new workers with college degrees—but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million postsecondary degrees . . . . At a time when every job is precious, this shortfall will mean lost economic opportunity for millions of American workers.” (Help Wanted: Projecting Jobs and Education Requirements 2010).
PRIMARY CARE ACCESS & UTILIZATION
Academic success increases with improved health and emotional wellbeing. Conversely, educational achievement is greatly hindered by health disparities, particularly for urban minority youth. Asthma, diabetes, unhealthy weight, vision problems, teen pregnancy, and problems with inattention and hyperactivity have tremendous effect on students’ ability and motivation to learn. School based health centers mitigate many barriers to academic success in underserved youth populations. Dozens of empirical studies demonstrate the effectiveness of school based health centers in reducing absenteeism, emergency room utilization, hospitalization, and Medicaid costs overall, particularly for children with chronic health conditions like asthma.
- A study by Johns Hopkins University found that school based health centers reduced inappropriate emergency room use among regular users of school-based health centers. ,
- A study of school-based health center costs by Emory University School of Public Health attributed a reduction in Medicaid expenditures related to inpatient, drug and emergency department use to the use of school-based health centers.
- A study of elementary school-based health centers conducted by Montefiore Medical Center found a reduction in hospitalization and an increase in school attendance among inner-city school children for asthma.
- Another study on school-based health care’s effects on asthma managementfound decreases in hospitalization rates of 75-85% and improvements in the use peak flow meters and inhalers.