This past month, the U trustees “approved a 5.9 percent tuition increase that will add another $438 a semester for full-time students.” This increase, “will pay for faculty and staff salary and benefit increases, more academic advisers and campus maintenance,” said Cathy Anderson.
Every spring since 2012 the U has risen cost of tuition by similar percentages. In 2012 the increase was about 6 percent, 5 percent in 2013 and the most recent which is 5.9 in 2014. That is nearly a 17 percent increase in just three years.
This is ridiculous considering the increasing costs of nearly every sector of society. It takes some serious financial maneuvering and time management to work a job full or part-time job in order to pay for college. When you step back and look at how much the cost has increased since the 1970s, the growth has been exponential.
According to Bloomberg, “the cost of obtaining a college degree has increased by 1,120 percent over the past 35 years.” This is four times that of the consumer price index, and a bigger increase overall than in medical care, food and housing. This proves that higher education is now unreasonably unaffordable.
In addition to the rise in tuition, other college fees have risen as well. The cost of textbooks and commuting are just some examples, and there are dozens of other miscellaneous expenses. At the U the trustees also approved an increase in parking fees, “which are expected to double over the next decade.”
What this means for students is that we will have to re-examine what a college education means. If you are not 100 percent certain about what you are going to college for, the costs are not justified. It is essential to have laser focus in college because due to the costs, any wiggle room is no longer allowed.
More and more the four year track for college is shrinking, and a students are using a combination of methods in order to graduate. This includes students taking semesters off for various reasons, and not continuously attending college. The increase in the total costs is discouraging to many and are not helping this trend.
We need to realize that education should be a universal right, regardless of financial situation. It is odd that in the United States we are still squabbling over the ever-increasing cost of college, while in most European nations college is paid for by the state.