Why College Today is Like a Country Club

Lifestyle/Finance:

Courtesy: hgsitebuilder.com
Courtesy: hgsitebuilder.com

The Nitty Gritty Costs

Today’s post-secondary education is becoming more inclusive than it was even a few years ago. The average cost for all institutions (4 year and 2 year schools; Both public and private) for 2014-2015 school year, which is a full year or two semesters as a full time student $20,403. 10 years ago, the 2004-2005 school year was $13,793. In just 10 years total tuition, room and board has increased $6,610 for a school year (32% increase).

The reason I say country club is because an average per year spent on college where the usual 12 credit minimum or 4 classes is $20,403 as stated above, or $10,201.50 a semester for those 4 classes, some of which if you are a freshman are dummy classes. Dummy classes meaning things that absolutely have nothing to do with your career path but you have to take it because it supposed to make you more well rounded. If I am spending $10,201.50 for 4 classes how would you feel if what you learn is elementary or not gauging. But those are the college and university rules you have to play by which is really how they make money off you when it comes to classes, because you have to take not just one but many of these classes before you get to core classes.

$20k for just one year is back-breaking for many Americans to set aside or fork up for anything. College and getting a degree should be seen still as a higher achievement as its been. Now throw in considering dropping out because you were told that as a chosen marketing major you have to learn about art history, or do yoga, or geology. Not only did you learn absolutely nothing about marketing but now you are not in school and have to take a lower paying job because the horizon was not as golden as once thought to be. Not to mention the debt after one year.

What Is Offered

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Courtesy: businessofcollegesports.com

A college offers a few products that make it money on two fronts.

  1. A professors research: A university is a place where the faculty and professors are really there for one thing and that is research. The split might be 80% doing studies or research and the other 20% in class time. Anything the professor discovers will have credit be given to the school. In return they get almost a lifetime job (Tenure) and any awards in the field of the research they did.
  2. Sports: Updating facilities, fields, fitness centers to attract some of the most physically gifted and talented high school kids in the country. Then stadiums, pavilions, coliseums to draw large crowds and get as many fans as possible to watch and take in the experience of how the team was built to win and compete.

Both those things are really what makes a specific college or university a draw to the person applying (Undergrad or graduate). Athletic programs that build teams with talent will attract out-of-state applicants which means much higher fees being paid at public schools. A professors research will bring the minds and academically driven applicants. Professors are the product that a school offers because when you attend the learning experience is supposed to be the best.

Country Club Mentality

With high costs of college comes a more hostile relationship between teacher and student. Not only is a student biding their time for four years until they can get out with a degree, but they do it while going into a world of uncertainty when it comes to employment after finishing. Now that you are paying for school and competition between colleges in local and national settings is higher the goal is to have the best teachers with experience that the students can draw from. Realistically no one should fail a college class.

I am of the belief if you show up as a full time student to every class or just about every class there is no way you or anyone else can fail. This is why I say hostile. If you fail a class or are in risk of failing a class then you might be at that school for longer than expected and that is really not the objective when costs are so high. That can lead to arguments and who is right? You ” want to get your moneys worth ”  and you clearly are not if you are failing a class. Only those with money will be able to absorb failing a class. This sets the mentality that only the rich can afford to hang around college for four years. You cant fail or not graduate on time without a degree while costs are so high, so the gap will widen in low retention and high drop out rates.

The Bubble

Courtesy: forbes.com
Courtesy: forbes.com

Millennials face their own bubble and it will pop, possibly very soon. The bubble that is focused on is student debt, but another one could be forming in the attending of college. Not only for graduates who racked up high debt after leaving four years with a degree, but also the people who only spent one or two years in college but left without the potential for earning power that comes with a degree. The costs must come down or else the country club will be a very limited membership. The lack of jobs after graduating and slow rising income levels make attending college less and less what it used to be especially after throwing in the cost of attendance.

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