Trickle-Down Economic Misery

Here’s a telling stat for you: A little under a thousand incoming freshman confirmed that they would be attending Delaware State this fall. Only 825 showed up. Diverse Issues in Higher Ed explains why this is bad and introduces us to one of the many students whose educational plans have been seriously disrupted by the economy:

Samara Brown, a 19-year-old psychology/pre-med major who finished her freshman year at Spelman [University in Atlanta] this spring, is one of those students who will not return.

It just wasn’t in the financial cards, says Brown, one of five children.

Brown got a private loan co-signed by her parents to finance her first year of college. She couldn’t do the same this fall, so she transferred to St. Augustine College in North Carolina, not far from her home. She’ll stay with her parents this year, saving some $10,000 in room-and-board costs.

“It was a really tough decision,” says Brown, who says she cried many days as she pondered the hard choices, or lack of them, and the economic realities that caused her original plans to implode. “But, I had to do what I had to do.”

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.