The Seattle Times reports that community college students are having a hard time transferring to four-year colleges and universities and are instead choosing to earn their bachelor's degrees at for-profit colleges.
The article reports that "the trend highlights the growing difficulty of transferring to a state-supported four-year college or university." This trend has raised concerns as a result of current default rates among career college attendees, "about a quarter of [whom] default on their student loans within three years of starting to pay them."
State budget cuts have made it difficult for state universities to accommodate new students, whether these students enter as freshmen or as transferring upperclassmen. Limited space ensures that students will prefer career colleges' easier admissions process and more commodious amenities. But this ease and convenience comes at a price; tuition and fees at for-profit universities are significantly higher than they are at state schools.
Experts offer a number of possible solutions to the problem of the limited infrastructure at state universities. They suggest that state universities could provide more bachelor's degrees and offer degree-completion programs during "flexible time and at locations convenient for working adults." These solutions seem sound, but they also seem somewhat inadequate. The crisis looming in higher education will have far-reaching ramifications and effects. Room for new warm bodies, while indeed a pressing issue, will be the least of everyone's concerns if certain pressing concerns aren't immediately tackled.