College Tuition Is Too Expensive


Andrew Lyons

BSM senior considers the price of dream school.

The cost of a traditional four-year college education is becoming increasingly unattainable for students around the nation. Especially with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many seniors have been rethinking their future plans, with tuition costs being a considerable factor.

According to College Board, a non-profit that develops and administers tests, in the 2020-2021 school year, tuition, fees, and room and board averaged around $50,770 at a private four-year college, and around $22,180 at an in-state, four-year public college. This is drastically different compared to the costs 20 years ago, when the total cost of college, all-in, was around $21,368 for a private institution, and around $7,586 for a public university.

While a higher education is something that I value, and I assume many others feel the same, the price tag makes me wonder: is it really worth it? Many families are spending almost $200,000 in total for the cost of college (excluding scholarships). BSM seniors recently filled out a survey, where 93% have received scholarships, and without them, they may have not picked the school they did. I admit, it’s great to see more and more schools meeting 100% or close to that, in terms of demonstrated financial needs of students, however, this only applies to families who make under a certain amount of money.

Although Covid has brought economic slowdown, college has long been unaffordable for the majority of students and parents. So how has college become so expensive? In short, colleges and universities know that kids want to get a degree, and they know that most people will do whatever it takes to get into a certain school. Other technical reasons include: availability of subsidized student loans, overbuilding of campus amenities, and administrative bloat.

Nowadays, many jobs don’t require a college degree. Entrepreneurship and working for yourself has become increasingly more popular. However, the majority of corporate America jobs do require a college degree. A college degree has always been and will most likely be considered a ‘golden-ticket’ into the middle class, financial stability, and overall acceptance into our society. The hypocrisy in the post-graduate world is laughable. To be able to find a steady job that pays well, you have to have a college degree, but most families cannot afford to spend $200,000 on a college education, especially when there are often multiple children to consider. While there are scholarships, federal loans, and financial aid available, these are not guaranteed, and even if they are an option for you, it makes you wonder if it’s even worth it. Furthermore, debt doesn’t disappear once you graduate from college; it follows you forever.

While I am by no means an expert on the topic at hand, and I don’t have all the answers, I do think a change needs to be made; whether it be dismissing debt, lowering tuition, or just the government offsetting the cost of college.