Getting a college education is something that is instilled in students at a very young age. Unfortunately, the price tag for one is very rarely discussed. I heard it on my college campus all the time: how my fellow classmates were stressed about this payment or that bill. While it is a worth-while investment, more students should be educated on exactly the cost of attending a four-year university.
School tuition is the most obvious price for a college education. This number can range anywhere from $9,000 to $60,000 per school year for students. This amount is dependent on a slew of things such as deciding to attend a private university as opposed to a public one. My university’s tuition was raised between semesters my freshman year which felt something like a sucker punch.
Many students are forced to take out crazy loans to be able to pay for college; I’ve heard amounts as large as $20,000 for my public university. The worst part about this is the interest that can accrue. There are aggressive interest amounts on student loans that can make paying it off feel overwhelming. For many people, it can be years after graduation and they’re still suffering from the price of a college education.
The unfortunate part about books and supplies was that there was never a way to determine how much you would have to spend until the first or second week of school. Textbooks, workbooks, online access codes, graphing calculators, lab tools, and special devices for a general ed class that’s irrelevant to your major! While some professors say that the books and supplies listed are optional for their class, (something I called “Suggestions for Success”), there are so many more that students need to shelve out the money for if they want to pass.
Books and supplies would slowly eat away at my bank account and, if I’m being honest, I would struggle financially for a while. On top of that, I had to pay over $300 for a parking pass. Every semester. Of course, there are ways to combat this by buying used books or shopping online for lower prices, but it remains a thorn in the side of students.
Cost of Living Expenses
The cost of living is part of the price tag for a college education. While there are some students who do not have to worry about bills, it is important to remember this is a responsibility for many others and a part of their college experience. Paying our bills are one of the sure things in life; car payments, insurance bills, and rent are not things we can avoid. It is a valiant effort to attend college and manage your own bills. Between having to study enough to pass an exam and having to work enough to pay for rent, those college students can feel the weight of this price.
There’s a running joke on social media that young adults think they have little financial cushion, but then their check engine light goes on. The inconveniences in life seem to come around when we can least afford them and it’s something we can just ignore. Flat tires, broken laptops, and leaking water pipes are things we need to take care of.
This is part of the price tag for a college education because it is part of the price tag for the world college students participate in. While we all cross our fingers that fender benders and broken ankles won’t happen, the weight of paying for it can feel overwhelming for college students. They can be in the middle of studying for finals when an unexpected bill comes in the mail; having to pay for it is very much part of their college education and experience.