Tuition increased a record 8.3 percent year, according to a new report from College Board. This staggering increase for public four-year universities across the country was accompanied by an 8.7 percent increase for public two-year colleges as well. The word “staggering” though, is only there for dramatic effect. It’s really not that staggering. That is, it’s not at all surprising tuition has increased, again. We, the students, already pay tens of thousands of dollars every year for school. What’s a few more thousand?
It’s our livelihood, that’s what it is.
College is expensive, of course. That much has been true since the dawn of time. Why college is so expensive is a question with varying reasons, though. Perhaps it’s the millions of dollars spent on new dorms and gyms. Perhaps the school needs the latest computer software or maybe the football field just needs better grass.
Either way, college is expensive and the sooner we get used to that fact, the better. But there is no reason to get used to an 8.3 percent increase. It’s already hard enough paying for college as it is.
People go to college because they want a job. They want a job because they don’t want to be poor. So, logically, people go to college because they don’t want to be poor. With today’s economy, though, there’s no guarantee students will find a job after graduation. If they can’t find a job, they leave college more poor than when they entered. So what does a $40,000 piece a paper get them after they walk the stage? Debt, debt they’ve obtained from going to college to get an education to get a job so they won’t be poor. Do you see the unending circle here?
So why are colleges raising tuition? They must know the burden they lay on students when they ask for thousands and thousands of dollars. Just like any business, they must compensate for what they lack which money. Colleges across the country are asking for more money from students because the government has simply stopped giving them as much. When a business isn’t getting as much money, they must find other means of obtaining funds. That is where we, the students, come in. Tuition for students increases, when funding from governments decreases.
Not only that, but while income has decreased across the board, state funding per student declined by 23 percent the past decade according to the same report.
Putting all this into perspective: income has decreased, loans have decreased, funding for colleges has decreased and tuition is higher than ever.
The government encourages people to go to college. We can safely assume it’s because they want to leave the country in the hands of smart and intelligent people. Yet, they make it so impossible to do so. College isn’t just for an academic education. It also teaches us how to get in debt and stay that way.