Citizens of Virginia have many reasons to pursue higher education. Some want skills and knowledge. Others desire a better quality of life, enhanced respect, and greater self-confidence. Many seek increased career options and the associated financial gains. According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), “On average, people with a college education earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma.”
In the early seventeenth century, poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” The observation about the ways in which we are all interconnected is especially evident in education.
News headlines recently focused on the startling announcement that the number of people in America’s middle-income tier had fallen to less than half of the nation’s population. Some families moved out of the middle class by climbing the socioeconomic ladder into greater wealth. Many others, however, slipped into poverty.