Rising College Costs--Why???Why does college cost so much? (Yes, I know financial aid exists, but why a sticker price of $44,554 per year???) Do colleges not realize that many students have to...

Rising College Costs--Why???

Why does college cost so much? (Yes, I know financial aid exists, but why a sticker price of $44,554 per year???) Do colleges not realize that many students have to take out private student loans from the likes of Sallie Mae in order to to attend for four years (why can't their tuition be cheap enough in the first place?)? 

Asked on by caleber96

11 Answers | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Two reasons really.

1.  They can charge a premium due to their reputation and people will pay it.  Why does BMW charge more than Ford... it can, and people will still buy it.

2.  They don't receive funding from the state, whereas public universities do.  Therefore, the user has to pay more since the cost isn't being defrayed by the government.

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Remember that some colleges do not cost 44K a year.  While all colleges come with a price tag, sometimes a student has to consider the cost of the university as well as the prestige and reputation of the school.  There are ways to cut costs of studying at the university level, but all college educations will be expensive.  Consider that the university has many overhead costs to cover.  They have to maintain a campus, buildings, grounds, staff, and services.  Your tuition helps to keep the entire university running and not just the teachers and services you personally use.  Unfortunately, the economical troubles of the day aren't helping university costs.  Students generally have less money and it is harder to get student loans.  Overhead costs like food, power, etc are skyrocketing.  It's difficult for both sides.  I'm sure many schools would love to offer a free education to those that wanted it, but they simply can't.  They have to strike a balance between their own expenses and a reasonable cost.

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think the biggest reason college tuition has skyrocketed in recent years has been the reduction of funding by the states.  College tuition has risen at levels much higher than other consumer items, so it can't just be blamed on infrastructure costs.  Colleges continue to add expenses and their state legislatures continue to cut their budgets (in general), and thus the costs are passed on to the users.

tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Students need to be resourceful, that's for sure. If that means staying at home for a couple more years and attending a local college then do it! It might also urge students to do better in school to get scholarships, although that's not the reason tuition is going up. Bravo to Post #2. There are so many different perspectives and issues surrounding costs for everything and there seems to be no end in sight. Sometimes it seems like students go straight to financial aid without checking out schoarships, grants and other financial services. Students can get creative with frugality, too, in order to keep costs down.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The cost of college is going up largely because the market will bear it.  Plenty of people are willing to pay fairly large amounts to go to college because they think that it is necessary in order for a person to succeed later in life.  Therefore, they are not prone to pushing to try to get lower prices for college education.  Until demand goes down, there is no reason for prices to drop.

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I have to agree with bullgatortail. College costs rise for the same reason that everything else rises. Teachers/professors salaries go up every year (cost of living increases). That said, colleges and universities incur the same rise in expenses as everyone else (businesses and individuals alike). That said, one can try to find schools (local) like the above posts suggest in order to reduce costs. Outside of that, some schools are like designer clothing (they cost what they do based upon their name).

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

By far the biggest cost that colleges face is infrastructural. The energy costs along of keeping facilities running is immense. Additionally, colleges require sophisticated equipment for labs, and computers are now ubiquitous on college campuses. Most campuses maintain wireless networks now, as well. Additionally, the numbers of college students are rising despite the costs, and new facilities have to be constructed. I cannot think of a college campus I've been on in the last ten years or so that was not engaging in some sort of building project. In short, part of the reason for spiralling tuition costs is that colleges offer more now that what they used to offer, so they cost more money. 

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

College costs rise right along with the rising costs of food, housing, automobiles and most other material goods these days. I agree with the previous post: One way of fighting these costs is to attend local community colleges and state schools, which will provide monumental savings in comparison with out-of-state schools and expensive private colleges. I attended community college and lived at home for two years, saving thousands of dollars per year even back in the days when tuition was less than $10 per class hour.

trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

After working as a college advisor for more than 20 years, I think that students need to make better decisions as to where it makes the most financial sense to attend college. For example, many students try to go out of state, which adds to the cost of college and they also don't get as much financial aid when they do this. Not everyone qualifies for financial aid, therefore students need to go on the web to search for privately funded scholarship awards they can try to win. Also, state and city public colleges cost far less than private schools do usually. College is expensive because they must pay for all the personnel needed to keep the college functioning. It is like a city--also, the cost of living and housing and food keeps rising.

caleber96's profile pic

caleber96 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

So the state governments are subsidizing (public) higher education. The federal government subsidizes private schools in the form of Pell Grants for low-income students. So if the government (whether state or federal) subsidizes college, then it becomes more expensive because the colleges know students can receive funding???

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