College. Another world filled with tremendous opportunities that can transform your dreams into reality. Everybody wants a college degree to pursue a career of their choice, such as business, nursing, psychology, computer science, etc., but in order to work a good paying job, or earn the highest position in a big company, a college degree is required, but unfortunately CUNY tuition has driven up expenses two times higher than before by adding an additional fee of $500 until 2015. CUNY, also known as The City University of New York is a public institution and the largest urban university in the United States consisting of 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, a doctorate-granting graduate school, a journalism school, a law school, and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. Tuition has been really tough on Americans, especially for low income families who try their hardest to support and provide for their families. Some students who attended a four-year college had no choice but to transfer to a community college, where the benefit of tuition is affordable and a best way for them to save time and money. College is worth the education, but is it worth the expense?
According to the New York Times, “Amid Protests by Students and Others, CUNY Trustees Vote to Raise Tuition”, “the board’s 15-to-1 vote will raise tuition for undergraduates at CUNY’s four-year colleges to $6,330 in 2015-16, with about $500 a year in additional fees,” says Richard Perez-Pena. Hundreds of students at Baruch College protested against CUNY’s board of trustees chanting “Abolish the board of trustees”, and “CUNY must be free,” last year November. The board of trustees is a governing board elected or appointed to direct the policies of an educational institution. CUNY said “the tuition increase was required because state aid has been cut by $300 million over the last four years, even as full-time enrollment has increased by 9.6 percent; a portion of the money raised by the tuition hikes would be set aside for helping students with financial aid.”
Americans are borrowing more money to pay for college while reducing other debt. Student debt is rising quickly due to higher tuitions, but also because of alternative ways for paying for college such as home-equity loans. The Obama Administration has also expanded federal loan programs which offer student loans at below market rates. However, educated workers earn a lot more money than workers that have less education, and college graduates are most likely to have jobs than those without college degrees. According to the Wall Street Journal, student debt has increased from $200 billion in 2003 to $904 billion in 2012, compared to cutting credit-card debt which is another issue most Americans have to face precisely, increased from $700 billion in 2003, but it eventually decreased back to $600 billion in 2012.
Sarah Turner, economist at University of Virginia said, “Borrowing a reasonable amount for programs that lead to degrees and certificates that are likely to improve an individual’s long-term outcomes are good for the economy.” It means that borrowing a certain amount of money for good programs that can get you qualified or certified in any field of study is not only good for the economy, but for society too, but you have to make sure you know you can pay back your loan in time.
“Instead of considering only tuition when choosing a college, prospective students would be wise to research a school’s history of tuition increases”, said Shawn Whalen, the deputy chief of staff of San Francisco State. It does make a lot of sense, especially for high school seniors who are currently applying for colleges. Focusing on getting into that certain school is one thing, but it’s important to research the school’s history of tuition increases too, and if you’re able to afford it, but for most low income students, they apply for financial aid so they won’t have to even pay a cent for tuition.
The major contributors to rising college costs are inflation, demand, scholarships, and availability of classes. Large portions of school budget are more sensitive to inflation than an American household is. For example, colleges need to replace technology more often, teachers have been getting underpaid, and are finally getting some of the raises they deserve, and insurance costs for running large institutions and business have risen significantly. Secondly, the demand is the fact that more students than ever are attempting to get a college degree allows colleges to be aggressive in how they price their tuition.
They do not have to worry about scaring off a few students with high prices, because there are plenty of others willing to pay full fare. Thirdly, not all students are lucky enough to earn a scholarship. This becomes a perpetual problem because as college costs rise, more students are in need of scholarships. As scholarships are given, it continues to increase the price of higher education for the remaining students. That leaves more students needing scholarships to meet the horrendous costs and so on. Lastly, due to the popularity of certain majors, the availability of classes can go over the expenses as well. Students may not be able to complete college as fast as they like. Many students are being forced into completing their degree in five or more years because they simply cannot get all the classes they need within the traditional four years.
In conclusion to all of this, the reason why CUNY tuition is rising every year is because of supply and demand. As demand for college increases, universities can respond by either enrollment or tuition costs. Since most universities are limited to the number of students they can enroll, they have largely responded to higher demand by increasing tuition. Colleges have no trouble filling seats, even with rising costs, so they keep spending and increasing tuition. Improvements to campus facilities and the addition of more administrative staff make college tuition even more expensive without necessarily improving the quality of education students receive.
Good education is good education. Even though the cost of college is pricey, it is worth the time and money. In my opinion, it’s important to attend college because it’s really essential for the future, and most jobs look for college graduates with a high education. Like what I have mentioned earlier, a wise prospective student will not only focus on getting into that certain college, but would also research the college’s history of increased tuition. College tuition may have been raised, but a good education is important, and that’s what matters the most.
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