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Karissa Anderson

Class of 2015
Bachelor of Science, Communications / Southeast Missouri State University
Master of Social Work / Saint Louis University

This policy internship has been SO eye opening. I've wanted a career in education but never looked from an advocacy standpoint. This internship has taught me much about the political process and it has been an honor to help the Foundation spread its mission.

States Should Reinvest in Higher Education

The rising amount students pay for education is making a college degree unattainable for large numbers of promising students or is forcing them to take on massive student loan debt. A study done by the Education Trust shows that low-income students are paying proportionally more than their middle and upper class counterparts, often paying more than 100% of their income on education expenses. Government subsidies are used to try to keep costs down, but as states are investing less in higher education, students are responsible for covering larger portions of the total cost of education.

Missouri has published a goal to be in the top ten in the nation in degree attainment. There is no way to achieve this goal if state policy makers and universities continue to disinvest in education and price out entire communities. Such practices do not boost degree completion but saddle increasing numbers of students with debt they are hard-pressed to repay. Federal and local governments should make it their priority to make education accessible for students of all socio-economic strata. Low-income and first-generation students deserve the opportunity to become the “best and brightest,” but until and unless such students are provided affordable access to quality education, those words ring hollow.

As part of her Education Policy Internship with The Scholarship Foundation, Karissa wrote the preceding summary of her research topic.

SLUSEMOSocial WorkEducation Policy Intern