What is the reason for the high cost of college? Why is College Tuition So High? There are numerous causes for this: expanding demand, increased financial aid, less state support, the skyrocketing expense of administrators, and inflated student facility packages, to name a few. The costliest universities, such as Columbia, Vassar, and Duke, will set you back well over $50,000 a year in tuition alone.
That does not even include the cost of living! College costs have spiraled out of control. So, what are your options for resolving the issue? Well, nothing really, but if you’re clever, you can get around it, especially with the rising online college sector’s prospects. We’ll figure out why education is so expensive and show you how to save money.
College tuition was significantly more reasonable for past generations, according to CNBC. CNBC notes that, after correcting for inflation, the cost of private schools has risen by 129 percent during the 1980s, according to estimates from College Board. The cost of attending public school increased by an astounding 213 percent.
Wages, on the other hand, have only climbed by 67 percent since the 1970s. A college diploma still has benefits for its recipient. But according to Business Insider, these benefits are smaller than they were a decade ago.
Where did the Student Loan Controversy Start?
Why is College Tuition So High? Summer jobs used to be a viable option for paying for college for baby boomers. Parents were able to step in and help their children pay for college in many middle-class families with students starting college more than 30 years ago.
Public funding for higher education was destroyed over the next few decades. These ever-increasing cuts compelled colleges and universities to boost tuition, forcing millennials to take on crippling student loans, and we all know how that played out.
When asked why college tuition at public colleges has nearly doubled over the last 35 years, to over $9000 per semester in 2014, college administrators prefer to relate this narrative. It’s the kind of narrative that makes you wonder, “Is it true?” It’s possible that it’s the polar opposite of the truth.
In fact, in inflation-adjusted terms, public investment in higher education in the United States is far greater today than it was during the apparently golden age of public support in the 1960s. This type of spending has grown at a far quicker rate than overall government spending. The military budget, for example, is nearly 1.8 times more today than it was in 1960, but higher education appropriations are more than 10 times higher.
Increasing College Tuition is the Single Most Important Factor
According to Adam Davidson of the New York Times Magazine, the single most important factor driving tuition increases is the ability of institutions to “mold” their student groups through high tuition. What exactly does this imply? In other words, the higher the tuition cost, the easier it is for colleges to beginner the specific type of student they desire by offering college tuition reductions.
“A school that charges $50,000 is able to offer a vast range of inducements to different kinds of students,” Adam Davidson continues. Some people may be willing to spend $10,000, while others may be willing to pay $30,000 or $40,000. Only a few people have the financial means to pay the entire sum. “After that, a college can recruit a diverse group of students with competitive test scores and achievements. It all comes down to math and the rule of probability.
Why is College Tuition So High? This, of course, explains the primary reason for tuition hikes at private universities that are not supported by the state. There are additional drivers driving college tuition hikes at public colleges. Such as students absorbing greater college costs rather than state governments.
1: Salaries in the Administrative Sector
The Atlantic cares, though, that facilities alone do not explain why our costs are so much higher here. Even if such expenditures aren’t taken into account, we’re still outspending our international counterparts.
Why is College Tuition So High? “Routine educational operations,” as the Atlantic puts it, “include paying staff and faculty.”
Every year, these expenses amount to almost $23,000 per student. This is more than twice as much as Finland, Sweden, or Germany, all of which have high-performing educational cultures.
But, before you march into your professor’s office during office hours to voice your righteous outrage, keep in mind that professor wages have barely changed since 1970.
“Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, hardly higher than they were in 1970,” according to the New York Times. Furthermore, while 78 percent of college and university professors were full-time 45 years ago, today half of the postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, implying that typical teaching incomes in American higher education are actually quite a deal lower than they were in 1970.”
2: Demand from the general public
So, what’s the rationale behind all of these administrators? For starters, schools are clearly accepting more pupils. Though there are certain year-to-year trends that show a slowing of growth, overall, public demand for higher education continues to grow.
“According to the Department of Education, US universities expected a total of 20.4 million students in autumn 2017, up 5.1 million from fall 2000,” according to Business Insider.
It’s true that the benefits of a college diploma are dwindling. “The return on investment has plummeted, and 40% of kids don’t graduate within six years,” according to Business Insider.
Why is College Tuition So High? Despite the declining return on investment, the forces that drive college enrolment are still strong. According to CNBC, a college education is increasingly being considered as a prerequisite for a competitive role in today’s market. According to Georgetown University research, by 2020, 65 percent of all employment will demand a higher education than a high school diploma.
To put it another way, despite its excessive expense, the urge to attend college is increasing. This increases rivalry among students seeking admission as well as colleges seeking applications. Colleges and institutions are increasingly behaving like businesses, fighting for students’ attention, giving more attractive perks, and vying for higher rankings, similar to the ones we do here.
Check out The Affordable Colleges Source: Online, Public, Private, Best ROI to be sure you’re getting the most out of your higher education expenditure.
3: Public funding is reduced
Why is College Tuition So High? Unluckily, even as the cost of education continues to climb, the state and federal government’s willingness to commit public funds to higher education has slowed.
Outside pressures, such as the increased popularity of “small government” views among specific voting populations and the rising expense of healthcare, have led to a decline in public support for even the best public colleges, according to the Atlantic. Then came the Great Recession in 2008, which had an especially harsh impact on schools that relied on government funding.
Regardless of the results reached in the above-mentioned New York Times piece, Business Insider reports that public appropriations from government sources were 11 percent lower per pupil in the 2015-2016 school year than they were a decade previously. “Roughly 80% of America’s students attend public institutions,” according to Business Insider, “so it’s not an exaggeration to argue that state financial decisions are the most important determinant of the price they will pay for their education.”
While there is some debate over how much of a direct impact these cuts have had on student tuition, it is clear that they have corresponded with an increased intuition. This puts the burden on you, the student, to discover ways to reduce your own expenses. Check out our scholarship and financial aid resources to help you get a more affordable education.
Why Is Online College More Cost-Effective?
So, now that we’ve covered some hard truths concerning the cost of a college degree, you might be feeling a little defeated. These are major, systemic issues that you can’t solve, right? We’re all ears if you have a hidden plan for reducing administrative bloat, boosting public money, and stamping out for-profit abuses.
Otherwise, it’s up to you to figure out how to make your college education more inexpensive. To put it another way, a college education can be prohibitively expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Online schooling is proven to be a viable avenue for many students, particularly those with strong economic motivations to get a degree. We questioned over 1000 students about what prompted them to attend online college last year as part of our search for qualified scholarship applicants. The responses we received were eye-opening, particularly in terms of how an online education may save money.
- Katelyn, who is pursuing a social work degree at Huntington University, for example, stated “I chose to enroll in an online degree program because I am my only source of income and I recognize the value of college education, but I also recognize that I would be unable to complete it without working full-time. As a result, I became a full-time student as well as a full-time employee.”
- For others, online college may provide access to more affordable distance learning possibilities. “There were no inexpensive recognized institutions with my curriculum near my area, plus I worked two jobs,” Bethany, a Brescia University Bachelor in Social Work, says.
- “I’ve been able to learn how to use technology for class meetings and projects, and I’ve been able to meet individuals from all over the country,” Bethany says of online college.
- And Elizabeth, a Charter Oak State College Business Administration student, recognizes the better value proposition of a college education without some of the conventional campus fees. “There are so many advantages to taking online classes that will undoubtedly support me in achieving my degree,” Elizabeth said.
- Among the advantages she mentioned were the fact that “online classes are reasonable” and that she was able to “save on commuting, especially when the weather is terrible.”
- If you want to save money and avoid traveling in poor weather, we recommend starting your search at The Best Online Colleges for 2019.