School Choice Affects Higher Education Chances


November 15, 2018 2:44PM

Growing up in rural America, there was pretty much only one option for my high school education. In a time where colleges are looking not just at your GPA and test scores but also your extracurriculars, leadership, and the academic rigor of high school classes, school choice has become increasingly important. While fourteen states and the District of Columbia require all state districts to offer AP courses, that leaves thirty-six states with no such requirements.

Luckily, I lived in a state that required at least two AP and two dual-credit offerings per high school, but what about the people who weren’t so lucky? Well, they could be left behind in the dust.

An article in the U.S. News & World Report suggests five ways to overcome this obstacle, but the most beneficial three of the five could potentially be expensive, like taking college courses, whether online or in-person, or hiring an outside mentor. If a family can’t afford these options, how is their child going to be able to stand out to top universities? One solution to this issue is more choice in education. Being defined by a zip code shouldn’t fly in a time when technology rules and the American dream is thriving. With the help of state school choice programs, students can receive the extra boost they need to be successful in the education system.

Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) take the money that would be spent on a student in the public education system and put it into an account that the family can use to better meet his or her child’s education needs more effectively. This may mean hiring a tutor or using the funds for transportation to a school with better academic opportunities. The possibilities are endless. You know what that’s code for? Freedom. We have the freedom to choose where we go to college; why don’t we have the freedom to choose what school is going to best prepare us for the college of our choice?  

Education Savings Accounts as a means of school choice allows us the liberty to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and pursue the American dream at full throttle. We don’t have to wait around until our state requires AP courses in every high school. We are equipped to go out and find the education that will best suit our needs, whether that is special education, more academically rigorous courses, or even starting college early. The possibilities are endless if we’re allowed the freedom to choose.