OPINION: Tuition doesn’t guarantee education quality


Photo courtesy of Damian Gadal

As time has gone on, colleges have become more and more expensive for students.

By Chase Morrone, Opinion Editor

Many colleges are extremely expensive for no reason other than the name that will appear on the student’s degree when they graduate. The top 30 most expensive colleges in the country have tuition of over $70,000 with room and board, according to Statista.com. As millions of students have continued seeking education after high school, prices have significantly increased since the early 1970s, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

According to a 2016 report from CNN, schools in Europe only cost about $2,225 or less per year. Business Insider explains that some of the reasons why more and more college students are going into debt include a surge in demand, an increase in financial aid, a lack of state funding, and a need for more faculty members and money to pay them. The Atlantic reports that Americans spend nearly twice as much on college as students in the average developed nation. This is due to the fact that most schools in Europe and Canada do not have as many dorms and dining halls as schools in America. America also pays professors and other college staff an average of $102,400, much more than what professors in countries such as Germany, Finland and Sweden are paid.

Costs like this and the cost of housing have suppressed millenials to live worse-off lives than Gen-X and Baby Boomers. According to a report from Forbes, in the second quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, there was a total $497.6 billion dollars in outstanding loan debt for 15.1 million people. Some politicians, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have proposed programs that would effectively cancel student loan debt with the proposal of a two percent tax on anyone who has over $50 million or more in wealth which they have already earned and paid taxes on. According to another Forbes report, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) plans to tax Wall Street trades, and plans to spend $48 billion dollars per year.

There are also many people who disagree with these programs, such as those who paid for their own college and those who paid back their student loans fully by working hard and getting a good job out of college. Most college grads can earn an average of $50,000 in their first year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Seniors and juniors feel pressured by peers to go to a big name school where all of their friends are going, and some of those big name schools can come at a price. While some schools that were popular for the class of 2019 are around average, such as Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers and MSU, others like the University of Pennsylvania and Brown cost up to $78,186 and $77,490, respectively.
What matters most at the end of the day is what you learn. Don’t put popularity above money. Down the road, your occupation and your salary will matter more than where you attended college.


Photo Credit: “Losing Hand” by Damian Gadal (https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/4298eb0b-e72a-4da2-944f-2cfb5533417d)