Good Example Of Research Paper On The Actual Cost Of College

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Students, Education, College, Tuition, Money, Debt, Family, Banking

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/12/03

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English IV Period 1

Ever since I was a child, my mother always told me to dream big, shoot for the stars, and to always be realistic. That statement gave me encouragement to attend school. In our household it was never a question whether or not I was going to attend college or not, I just did not know which one I would attend. Once I started researching the different types of schools, in-state, out of state, private and community colleges, I realized that the tuition was approximately triple the amount of my entire life savings. “It never used to be that much” my mother explained; so I started to question why higher education was so expensive but almost a requirement to be successful in life. Consider this, tuition rises at about four times the rate of inflation while state funds allocated to universities continue to decline (Slaper and Foston 1). In addition, the exponentially growing cost of attending college is affecting students all over the country. Secondary schooling will become more affordable when the unnecessary costs are removed.
The average tuition cost for colleges today range from $8,893 for an in-state college, to $22,203 for an out of state college (College Data). The question still remains, why? Why is the cost of an education rising each and every year, and how will students afford their education? The answer is that it may not have to do with the economy at all. Only 30 to 35% percent of tuition costs actually go towards instruction costs, which leave about 65 to 70% of the funds accounted for. Administrative bloat, which is hiring more professors who are “more qualified” for the job, just might be the answer. Is it better to have more professors and smaller class sizes or more qualified instructors and a chance for a better education? Universities feel the need to
recruit additional staff but they do not fire the original staff, which causes overstaffing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the payroll at the University of Minnesota rose over 45 percent from 2001 to 2012 because of the jump in tuition (Slaper and Foston 1). If we cut this bloat by five percent, the average student could save approximately $107 per semester. In turn, if it is cut it by 20%, students could save $430 a semester on tuition costs (Slaper and Foston 4). This money could be used to invest in text books, tutoring, or even to improve the cafeteria service. Administrative bloat counts for some of the reasons why college is so expensive, but not all. Colleges strive to make a good first impression on prospective students. They want their campus to seem appealing and stand out from the rest. In order to do that, extra amenities and added bonuses are imbedded into the final cost of living on campus. Fancy dorms and extensive food plans are two examples of these extra perks. Between 1965 and 2006 the room charges at a private university went up 6.46 percent, yet the price index for regular homes only increased by 4.37 percent (Archibald and Feldman 33). To attract more students, colleges have begun focusing away from education services. This means colleges are adding air conditioning, extra lounges and even fire places to look more desirable. Universities are feeling the need to compete with other colleges around the United States, but this competition seems to be driven by student’s expectations as opposed to a race. Along with high-class living quarters, meal plans are also a push for colleges. Hamburgers and cheese fries can get old after a while, which is why the student union is getting more creative by adding more food options to satisfy starving college students’ wants. It is a fact that families tend to eat a lot of restaurant food, and when students head off to college they’re scenery might change, but their food habits will not (Archibald and Feldman 36). Beware of the hidden costs when it comes to choosing that perfect school.
Because someone else likes the school will not guarantee if you will succeed at the school or not. College Grads states that “Going to a college just because someone else loves it can lead to disaster. That said, it pays to ask what someone likes or doesn't like about their college. They may bring up aspects of college life you had not considered” (College Grad). College is not cheap by any means, and it is definitely not helping that prices keeps rising each year. Very few students receive a full ride, and most people end up paying off their debt for many years after they graduate. In the U.S. alone, the student loan debt has increased from seven to fifteen percent in the past decade (Ivanchev 1). When students get ready for college, they tend to only think about the now and how they are going to pay for their first year. In all actuality, college does not last for just one year, which means that students need to start thinking long terms in order to be debt free. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average forty-year-old with a degree has over 30,000 dollars in debt (Ivanchev 1). Consolidating this debt is never the answer because there are loan officers that will try and overcharge on interest. Also, deciding who to receive financial help can be a game-changer because a lot of financial advisors out there are in it for the wrong reasons. They use what is called the “car salesman mentality” which means that advisors are only looking to help the university and scam citizens out of their money. Their number one priority is making sure students can afford the first year instead of looking at the whole picture. Students should evaluate the entire school, include talking to multiple advisors before making a final decision.
People are now contemplating if going to college is even worth it. A few scholarships can help out here and there, but universities charge a lot more than a couple thousand dollars,
especially if it is out of state. More often than not, showing that a person is highly in debt over student loans can lead to little or no access to credit and declines in spending money (Ivanchev
2). Occasionally, after graduation, people have a hard time finding a job which makes things even more stressful with loads of debt. With this in mind, the next generation will be hurt. As students become parents, Students will probably still be paying off their debt and adding additional debt and interests to the original loans The mentality of ‘you need to go to college’ will most likely be shattered if this keeps up (Farrington 2). Toys, baby formula and even car seats cannot be purchased by some families because struggling parents are still trying to pay off debt. Along with frightening epidemic, universities have noticed a significant decrease in alumni donations. Most times it is not that they do not want to, it is that they simply cannot afford it. Forbes Magazine predicts that less and less will be willing to contribute in the fall of 2015 (Farrington 2).
Is there hope for future generations to go through this process without the pain? There are some simple solutions that can take the edge off, such as starting to save now. The longer people wait to mentally and physically prepare themselves for this new chapter in their lives, the less time there is to prepare. Start looking for scholarships a year in advance. It might sound really early, but senior year goes by really fast and soon enough, the time will have escaped. Scholarships can be as easy as writing a 250 word paragraph on life to creating a video on how to be safe driver! Putting in the effort to look is half the work. Also, students should be required to take a course on the finances at the college of their choosing (Slipper and Foston 8). This will not only help them today, but will enlighten them on common mistakes college students make and how it will affect their future.
Taking out the administrative bloat is one way to reduce the cost of college tuition. College professors are paid a large salary, sometimes at the expense of the student. It is the responsibility of the university to pay the professors but to also make college tuition reasonable for students. If the students cannot pay for tuition, then the professors would have no one to teach in the classrooms. Professors should be made to take refreshment course on their own time and to familiarize themselves with the materials being taught. This can release some of the continuing education costs from the college and therefore not adding that cost on to student tuition.
Advertisement for colleges needs to be cut down. Students do not want to receive emails or letters or phone calls every day from colleges. Deciding where to go is stressful enough and these constant pushes almost drive students away. By limiting the advertisements and marketing efforts to once every couple weeks, prospective students might be more willing to check it out, and the school can save more money in advertising fees. This money could be used to bring down the costs of tuition at the college.
The federal and state government needs to do their part as well. Granting more money for students will only put them on the path to success. The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a government run website that offers grants and loans to struggling families. The idea is genius; but it only offers so much and more times it does not cover very much. Most money needs to be put into the budget for college bound students. They are the future of this country. If all else fails, there is always community college or online classes. Junior colleges are much cheaper and even have smaller class sizes. They are perfect for those who want to get a job, save money, and in a couple of years finish their schooling at a university. Online classes are
taken in the comfort of a person’s home and they can choose when they want to “go to class”. Almost all big universities offer most if not all their majors online as an option.
Factors such as tuition, books, housing and meal plans 5,000 should be well known facts once someone decides to attend the college. America need to band together to fix this ongoing problem. Together, a solution is possible but it takes everyone. Apply for scholarships, take a financial course, or even consider a junior college. As Timothy Slaper and Amia Foston recall, “colleges need to lower their tuition but not your costs and plan for the future, not the now”(Slapper and Foston). Most of it has to do with the administrative bloat that has been happening all over the country. If this is stopped now, future generations could go to school for much less than tuition costs today. When my mother told me to dream big and shoot for the stars I never fully understood what that meant. But I now realize it means to live life up to its fullest potential but always remember to play it smart and one day it will pay off.

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