I was the same as it seems like a handful of you as I did not know what a think tank was prior to the class. But after research I became more aware and thought instantly of what kind of think tank I wanted to do. I feel like that it is way too hard for the lower class to receive a university or college education. I know too many people that have the intelligence and ability to earn a degree, but cannot just because of their economic situation. That’s what brought me to the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).
According to their mission statement “IHEP is committed to improving college access and success in higher education for all students—with a special focus on underserved populations—by providing timely research to inform public policy decisions.” IHEP also supports organizations that help individuals pay for school through scholarships. Multiple foundations from the likes of Bill Gates to Wal-Mart fund them privately. Which leads me to the second portion of the prompt. I believe that private funding is the best way to go about this. Obviously a university wouldn’t fund them unless the university was free or offered an education at a manageable rate. Also by being privately funded it shows that there are individuals that are dedicated to the issue and have taken it as their job to make education easier to attain.
As I mentioned above I thought of this idea before I ever even learned about IHEP. So if given the chance I would definitely consider working for IHEP. My reasoning is my very good friend at home is one of the smartest individuals I know and has an amazing work ethic. He scored higher than me on the SAT and had similar grades while participating in football, wrestling, and working full time. Sadly, after graduation he could not pursue an education as he was not as fortunate as me and did not have the money. He did go to community college in the area and planned to transfer to a major university after he got his core credits, but it became difficult as he was paying rent, bills, and for college. I believe that education costs in America are absurd and they are rising every year. At the same time the lower paying jobs are being outsourced and most middle class jobs require a college education. So it now is creating a larger barrier for people in the lower class to get out of the lower class. While looking at other countries college is a fraction of the cost if not free. Why are we in a society that gives the more economic fortunate a better chance at success? Is every life not of equal value? According to the saying money cannot buy you happiness, but it sure can make the pursuit of happiness easier.