Why is College So Expensive?

In his 2014 article, “Why is the Cost of Education So Damned High?” Mark Engler writes that the amount of money spent by the United States on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone is enough to cover the cost of higher education of American students for over five decades.


If you’re not already crying, keep reading.


Colleges are acting more like businesses and treating students more like customers. Are colleges just working their way up to costing the same as the value they will ultimately provide? According to a 2013 Washington Post article titled, “Why is College So Expensive?” there are several contributing factors to this never-ending cycle. Let’s find out why college expenses are on the rise and where most of our money is going. 

1.) Healthcare: Not only do students need healthcare, but so do staff and faculty. Because the cost of healthcare is increasing by 10-15% annually, our tuition costs are going to reflect that.

2.) The Top Dogs: University presidents, other top administrators, and ‘big name’ professors receive extremely high salaries.

 3.) Lavish Comforts: Some universities are starting to resemble yacht clubs that all of the kids from Saved By The Bell worked at. Do we really need free private fitness clubs and extravagant dorms? Sure, universities can and should still offer these amenities, but make them optional for students who want to pay extra to have access to them.







4.) Increased Resources: Valuable add-ons like student services and study abroad have increased over 25% per student since 2000. 

5.) Sprawling Infrastructures: Some universities still have those old redbrick buildings from the 1970s, but they need to be replaced eventually. The creation of new buildings is expensive.

To sum some of this up: Public, private, and research institutions are spending more on research, instruction, and auxiliary costs overall. While net scholarships and fellowships have decreased drastically. Our recent economic recession has also caused state and local appropriations to decrease; as a result tuition rises for both public and private bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


To end on a happier note, at least we’ll all be building toward remarkable credit scores.