Why Is College So Expensive?

 

College is expensive. Like, really expensive! Especially here – in the United States of guns, fast food, (coughs Trump), and student debt. But it wasn’t always like this.

In 1980, the average cost of tuition for a year at a 4-year private college was $3,500. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $10,200. And today, that price has gone to $32,000 – three times as much in only 36 years. WHY?

Well, that’s both a complicated and controversial question.

To understand why college has risen in cost, we first have to understand why college has always been expensive. The biggest fraction of your tuition goes to salaries. The national average student to faculty ratio is 18 to 1, meaning that for every 18 students there’s one faculty member. The average professor at a private college makes $126,981 per year. Divided by 18, that comes out to only $7,054, which doesn’t seem that bad but you have to consider that there’s more than just faculty. There’s also coaches, gardeners, kitchen staff, dorm staff, maintenance people, admission staff, marketers, IT staff, security guards, and college presidents. Altogether, the salaries and benefits of all these individuals add up to a whopping $24,000 of our $32,000 tuition.

Salaries tend to be high because college functions similarly to many other industries – following the rules of supply and demand. The most popular college majors vary over time because interests change to reflect changes in culture. The problem is you can’t just magically create new professors. By the time new professors go through their 20 years of education and specialization in a field, the major will no longer be the popular one so when a major is popular, colleges have to compete to get professors and the only thing that really matters is money – money brings more professors, more professors bring more students, and more students bring more money.

At the same time, professors in historically popular majors receive tenure. Teure is the idea that in order to promote academic freedom, long-term professors should have their job guaranteed until retirement. With professors that legally cannot be let go, there can often be an abundance of professors in less popular study areas.

So, we still have $8,000 of tuition unaccounted for. Colleges need places to teach and their infrastructure is rather unnaturally expensive. Classes usually only run for 8 or 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 40 or so weeks a year. That means that classrooms are only in use 23% of the time. The college still has to pay for the space the other 77% of the time which of course adds up.

Additionally, colleges really like to build nice buildings because these attract students. The average cost to build a building varies by location, but it averages between $155 and $215 per square foot. By contrast, U-Mass Amherst’s Commonwealth Honors College costs $354 per square foot. U-Mass Boston’s General Academic Building No.1 cost $594 per square foot, and Berkley’s Lower Sproul Building cost $659 per square foot.

Of course, there are other factors contributing to the high prices of college, but staffing and building are the big two. Now for the reason, the college has tripled in price. – it’s always been expensive to pay highly educated people to teach in inefficiently use buildings so what has changed in the last 30 years?

Well, college is more popular than ever. In the last 20 years, college enrollment has increased by 50%. Federal and state fundings for college has actually increased to an all-time high since 1980, but with the simultaneous increase in students, per-student funding has hit an all-time low.

In 1990, Ohio’s flagship public university – Ohio State University – paid for 25% of their budget with government money, while in 2012, only 7% of their budget was paid for by the state. With less federal and state money, students have to pay more out of pocket to make up the difference. Additionally, colleges have changed to appeal to the millennial generation.

According to William Strauss and Neil Howe, the millennial generation – born between 1982 and 2004 – are characterized by 7 core traits: they are sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, achieving, and they feel special.

Sometimes called the ‘trophy kids’, millennials tend to be more ambitious and feel more unique than the preceding generation, which means they tend to believe more in “the right fit” idea for a college. Colleges responded to this attitude by adding more and more amenities to help them stand out to the growing number of students. All these new amenities required more management which contributed to the boom in administration at universities.

According to the US Department of Education, the number of administrator positions increased 60% between 1993 and 2009 which means it is 10 times faster than the number of tenured professor positions. Now, seeing what it takes to make a college functional, it isn’t that expensive. 80% of full-time degree-seeking students at four-year universities receive some sort of financial aid with the average grant hovering around $15,500. That’s a significant amount, but I’ve got to admit that there’s still a significant amount leftover, until you consider that going to college is the single greatest investment you can make in your life, especially today.

People who go to college earn on average 98% more per hour than those who only have a high school diploma, and that number is up from only 40% more 35 years ago. So, given that, what’s the true cost of college? When you look at it holistically, over your whole life, the cost of going to college is not $32,000 a year or $128,000 over four years, but rather negative $500,000. By skipping the opportunity to go to college, you will forfeit on average half a million dollars in potential earning.

Go to college, kids!

People Share “Unwritten Rules” of the Society That Everyone Should Follow, and Here Are 20 of Them

In order for us to function in a healthy society, there’s a set of unwritten rules we have to follow. Those are one of the things that no school teaches you, and at some point, you have to learn that yourself. Some call them good manners, some call them rules, or maybe just common sense.

However you name it, society has a rule book that ‘forces’ people to behave and be good to one another. In order to do that you have to be aware of these “unwritten rules”. Therefore, today we will share some with you.

One Reddit user asked a question: “What is one ‘unwritten rule’ that you believe everyone should know and follow?” And there were quite some people who shared their wisdom with the internet. People were listing things that should be common knowledge but for some reason aren’t, and it’s about time everyone learned them. Therefore, scroll down below to check out this list of “rules” we compiled for you. And if you know another one that hasn’t been mentioned, make sure to share it with us in the comment section.

1.

9buz 

If I show you a picture on my phone, don’t go swiping sideways.- Soft-Problem

2.

Don’t watch loud videos on your phone at a restaurant. Can’t believe this isn’t common curtesy anymore. –

penguinmanbat

3.

If you borrow something, give it back in the same condition.- Ryastor

4.

mstaff388

5.

If someone is giving you a ride you should be ready at the door before they get there. It’s so rude to have someone waiting on you when they are doing you a favor by picking you up. –Thatweirdboringdude

6.

Let us get off the lift/train before you try to barge on ffs – Melassia

7.

The last one to go to bed has to turn the light off. –Rebeca2277

8.

When you have a complaint with a retail store or business, please remember that the person you are speaking too (or yelling at sadly) is just the one that happened to pick up the phone or is standing at the till. they likely have nothing to do with what went wrong and have little sway in what can be done to help. They don’t need to be yelled and screamed at for something they did not do or is under the control of a corporate office/higher up.- sebastianrileyt2

9.

If someone is wearing headphones and is clearly keeping to themselves, leave them the fuck alone!-

Thetiredregular

10.

Put the shopping cart back where it GOES! –brock0124

11.

If you want to go for a hike and listen to music, come with earphones or headphones. Don’t blast loud music. – AgeOfWomen

12.

Quit pissing on public toilet seats. – kpeterson159

13.

When someone else is paying the bill you shouldn’t order something very pricey (it’s understandable if something expensive is the only thing you are able to eat) –yomomma1000

14.

The “wave” of thank you when someone lets you in while driving in traffic. Its just polite – dishyboii

15.

Double flush if you must. Nobody wants to see your poop crumbs. – jdward01

16.

Wear deodorant if you are out in public. –kyogre120·

17.

If someone can’t fix an aspect of their appearance in five minutes or less, don’t mention it.- greentea2727

18.

PERSONAL SPACE (even when not in a pandemic) – keri112493

19.

icyangel2666

20.

kglass6352

Related articles:

20 Illustrations of the Double Standards We Have Set as a Society

Through Strip Comics, Ademar Vieira Speaks Up About All the Troubles in Our Society That Bother Him

25 Hilarious Yet Bold Cartoons That Illustrate Everything That’s Wrong With Our Society




    Pin It on Pinterest