Universities charge sky-high prices past anything justified

By Farah Bassyouni Oct 23, 2023

One of the main reasons students struggle in university is because they have loans that require them to work as well as go to school, or they have to keep up a certain GPA for a scholarship to pay for school. Sometimes they even have both. In high school, students are told that they must go to college to get a good education and a good job, but at what cost? 

According to Callie Holtermann in the article “Should College Be Free?” from the New York Times, there is a decline of enrollment in colleges likely due to the fact that college costs have only increased in the past few years. 

“States including Texas and Michigan are experimenting with plans to reduce or eliminate tuition for many students,” Holtermann said. “Starting in July, New Mexico will go a step further: it will completely cover tuition for all state residents who attend public colleges and universities.”

What is causing this giant dollar sign to hang on higher education? Having free college tuition would greatly benefit not only the students’ minds and security, but it would also allow them to focus more on their schooling. 

Bri Stoney, a student at Indiana University says, “The biggest thing is that colleges are relying on students’ parents to bankroll them, but as we are seeing more and more with this dynamic and this generation, it is that parents aren’t paying for their colleges so students are left to pay for it themselves, leaving them in tons of debt when they graduate.” 

Stoney, like many other students paying for her own education, found it ridiculous that she had to pay so much for her school and wished that she could think less on how much debt she’s going to have when she graduates.

When asked how they felt and what they thought about the debt they were currently in for college, Kassidy Orbaker, who attends Rochester Institute for Technology, said, “It makes me feel frustrated because how I am supposed to pay for other things when I have to pay ‘X’ amount of money for college? I have other things to pay for and yet I can’t because I have to pay for school and books. I have big goals in life and college debt is setting me back.”

Orbaker and Stoney said that they considered not attending college at all or dropping out because they felt that the costs were too high. At the same time, both felt that they couldn’t get a good job otherwise and that a job right out of high school wouldn’t be sustainable to live on.

One minor thing that could be done to reduce the costs of college is that institutions could lower their fees for things like textbooks or parking spots on campus. 

“I have to pay for parking, bus passes, and books, and it doesn’t seem like my fees are being put towards my education,” Stoney said. “By making me take courses out of my intended major it is pulling the focus away from it and making me pay for more than what is necessary.”

Orbaker said that a way she combated higher education costs started as early as high school, where she took college courses at a much lower cost. By doing this, she was able to get  a lot of her credits out of the way so that she didn’t have to take “unnecessary classes that cost so much money.”

Students are cutting corners every way they can to be able to receive an education that is supposed to guarantee them a good job after college, but lately, the cost seems too high for what it’s worth. This looming pressure hinders students from actually doing their best work in their classes because they are so concerned with trying to make ends meet. If higher institutions want their students to be the best they can be, then the cost of going to school needs to be reasonable.

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