According to Caitlin Zaloom, an anthropologist and associate professor at New York University, family dynamics among middle class Americans have changed due to the high cost and pressure of higher education institutions across the country and around the world.
For middle class families especially the dynamic has shifted since they are often make “too much” to qualify for federal aid, but make too little to actually cover the costs of college tuition.
“That message is coming at families from every direction: that being a success in America depends upon the ability to get into college, to get an education and to graduate,” she says in an interview with NPR.
“But that itself depends on the ability to pay, which thrusts us right into the paradox of it all — which is that on the one hand, young adults and the parents who support them have this very clear goal about getting a college education. On the other hand, that is going to cost them dearly.”
Zaloom hopes to draw attention to the issue that many middle class families face in the country, with families more often than the students themselves taking on the financial burden and sharing in the stress of getting young students into college.
Her message is that there needs to be more focus on making higher education affordable and on reshaping the narrative around the importance of higher education.
Read Full Story: NPR