Friday, June 13, 2008

The Dream of Higher Education

There was a time when college was for the elite, only those who had enough money and prestige were privileged enough to go. Then, when those people graduated they made all the money and their children could go to college and the trend continued.

Hmm, have you looked at the cost for college here lately??? It seems to me that universities are doing more to prevent students from attending their school than promoting.

I understand that everything from our groceries to our tires to our clothes are going up in price due to gas sky-rocketting, and I won't even touch that conversation, but education??? Seriously.

I attended the University of Nebraska as an out-of-state student from 2004-2006. At that time tuition was $448/credit hour, whereas in-state tuition was around the $150/credit hour mark. OUCH, is right! Today, according to the UNL website, tuition (2007-2008 year) for out-of-state students was $503/credit hour and in-state was $169.50/credit hour. How come out-of-state went up $55 and in-state only went up about $20? Why discourage people from coming to Nebraska? Don't we want people to come here? Don't you think that people that come to college here, might in fact end up living here? If an out-of-state student took 15 hours each semester, the bill for TUITION ONLY comes to $15,090. Add on a butt-load of fees and you are at $17K easy. Oh but wait, you have to live somewhere, eat something, and buy books. Yep, I'm pretty sure that will keep most average students away from attending the University of Nebraska,or any other 4-year college for that matter. I can't understand why enrollment continues going down each year, can you (please detect the sarcasm in that sentence).

And, I was only speaking of out-of-state students, but in-state tuition isn't much better. It is sad to see that students have to struggle to go to college where they want so they can do what they want. It is also a lot of pressure on an 18 year old to decide to take out at least 4 years of loans. I am wondering what the statistics are saying about community college enrollment. I wouldn't be surprised if it is rising, but I am going to leave my soapbox on how great JuCo's are for another day.

Obviously, it is not bad to spend money on education. In fact, it is necessary. It is not bad to go to a 4-year school directly out of high school. In fact many life changing memories and experiences will happen. It is not bad to spend money for a master's, doctorate, or whatever degree you want. I just wish it could be more accessible to everyone.


millhouse said...

Not really sure why the out-of-state tuition increased more, but it seems like universities really focus on keeping the 'brain-drain' from happening in their states. So maybe they put the brunt of the hike on out-of-staters so they don't lose the Nebraska kids.

I haven't checked for awhile, but I am pretty sure UNL is still a pretty affordable option compared to alot of other schools. You don't even want to know how much it costs for me to take Master's courses through Purdue.

Richard and Heather said...

Good point. And, KU and KState are probably the same way with out-of-state students, but very affordable for in-state.

Here's an oddity. I came to UNL an out-of-state student, but couldn't claim residency until I was married. Now that I am a resident of Nebraska, if we move back to Kansas and I go back to school, will I be an out-of-state student again? It never ends.