When dropping my sister off at college many thoughts ran through my head. Thinking that she was no longer going to be at home, and that she was beginning a new chapter in her life struck me as odd. In the many thoughts I had, I did not think about how much her new chapter in life was going to cost my family. It did not hit me until we finished moving her into her dorm room and we went to the university book store to pick up her books. This was my first realization of how expensive college is. The costs of all her books for the coming semester came to a total around $500. I could not believe that this was just the beginning.
In addition to the cost of books, students are required to pay for room and board, a meal plan, and the tuition. The increasing cost of college is causing many student to stop their education after receiving their high school diploma. According to College Board, “The average cost of a four year college is $7, 605 per semester. ” Once the costs of books, food, room and board have been added into the cost of tuition, the total can be anywhere between nine to eleven thousand dollars. A four-year state college, which is often one’s last resort, cost about nine thousand dollars or more to attend.
Unless a student earns an athletic or academic scholarship, college is a very costly investment. Often, students are required to take out multiple loans to help pay for their tuition which can sometimes take up to five years to pay back. As of today, the most expensive college in the United States is Sarah Lawrence College. This private college comes with the hefty price tag of $57,556 per year. Sarah Lawrence is followed by the well known Ivy League school, Columbia University, which costs around “$43,815 for tuition and fees and another $10,572 for room and board” (Wingfield).
With costs like these for an education, college will soon be a privilege for only the elite and wealthy. The amount of money expected to be paid for a college education is outrageous and something needs to be changed. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “In 1990 the cost of a four-year public school costs about $8,000 for a year” (Trends in the Cost of College). Now, in 2011, this is the average amount one would pay for a semester. Through the years there has been an obvious rise in the cost of a college education, almost a one hundred percent increase.
It seems unreal that in just a little over twenty years the cost of college could grow by such a large margin. In 2012, the University of Missouri-Columbia, also known as Mizzou, is going to escalate the cost of tuition by five percent. This is a four hundred dollar increase per semester from the previous year. If looking at the big picture, Mizzou is receiving eight hundred dollars more per year from each student; multiply that number by the amount of students, and one will see the massive growth in money that Mizzou will be receiving.
Now the question arises, was the raise in the tuition really necessary or simply greed? This rise in tuition will cause more people to loose their opportunity to gain a college education because it only becomes harder to afford. If the cost of college were to stay the same or maybe even decrease, more people may try to earn a college degree because they could afford it. Often because of the cost, many do not pursue a college degree and they end up with a lower quality job than those who have completed college.
The high and rising cost of a college education is resulting in fewer students enrolling in colleges nationwide, leaving many campuses with fewer students than the years past. If the cost would decrease, more students would apply and in some cases, leave the colleges receiving more money. Because of the high and almost unaffordable cost of college, less working class people are able to afford a college education. Many academically average high school students struggle to afford college because without astounding test scores or a high GPA, they do not receive any academic scholarship.
If the cost of college tuition was reduced, many more average students could afford a college education making the United States population a little smarter, and maybe it would have a lower unemployment rate. Works Cited: “Trends in the Cost of College. ” National Center for Education Statistics. U. S. Department of Education,, 2010. Web. 24 Feb 2011. . “What It Cost to Go to College. ” The College Board. The College Board, 2010. Web. 23 Feb 2011. . Wingfield, Brian. “America’s Most Expensive Colleges and Universities. ” Yahoo Finance. Yahoo, 05 Oct 2010. Web. 23 Feb 2011. .