The Cost of College

I am pretty sure that if all I had to pay for was my tuition, I would be able to afford to go to school. But alas, I have to pay for way more than just the School part. As I write this, we can officially pay for our school on September 7th, which is tomorrow morning. Yay, for all of us, I guess, we get to be either a hell of a lot poorer or a hell of a lot more in debt, perhaps both.

As I reflect on how hard I worked all summer so that I can have a roof over my head and continue to work towards my academic goals, its a little depressing to think that in a single payment it will all be gone. No matter how much money I make or how vigorous my savings are, my accounts are quickly emptied by school and rent.

I’m sure I am not the only one feeling these bittersweet emotions.

I’m not sure if you guys have ever looked at an itemized list of all the things you pay for besides school, but in addition to paying for tuition we pay for student fees, printing, internet, wellness center, textbooks, parking, parking tickets, room and board, and meal plans. That doesn’t even count the things I have forgotten or smaller costs like more pens, a calculator or specialized supplies for certain classes.

I’m sure I’ll find more surprise charges when I can pay it tomorrow morning. All this to say, if all I had to do were pay tuition, I’d be fine. But at every corner, I am getting nickeled and dimmed by minuscule charges that add up to thousands of dollars. What the hell is a NDSA and why does it cost me twenty four cents? Why do I have to pay student fees for two universities?

The NDSU Spectrum Logo with an S over a landscape

All these extra fees and for what, a new walkway to the Union? Is that what we need? Because I know our university desperately needs more parking, not another sky bridge.

During the 70 to 71 school year, the average cost of tuition 394 dollars for both tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2022 dollars, that’s $3,008.58. Now remember everyone, that’s for the tuition and fees for a year. I could work for the summer and make that amount easily.

And that doesn’t account for how the cost of rent, groceries, and gas has increased exponentially since the 70s while wages have remained relatively stagnant. If things cost the same as when my grandparents were thinking about school, getting a degree was a financially attainable goal.

Without my parents’ help, I don’t know where I would be. Many of my friends and their parents are paying out their asses in the hopes that their kids can pursue their dreams and eventually make it in their careers.

These points don’t even touch on the fact that my students don’t have access to the same financial resources that I do and that even if you are college educated, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be successful or have a well-paying job.

If things cost the same as when my grandparents were thinking about school, getting a degree was a financially attainable goal.

In conclusion, college is getting more and more expensive every year, and even if you pay in state tuition like me, NDSU will still do their damnedest to squeeze every dollar possible out of their student body.

The economy we live in quite literally cannot keep up with itself. Even if put every dime I made this summer towards my tuition I still wouldn’t have enough to pay for this school year without loans.

I wish I could end this article on a positive note. I wish I could say that I have some hope for the future but I don’t. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to send my kids to school. I feel like I am being punished for choosing to be a part of a helping profession.

I know if I wanted to, I could be a great business major. I could sell my soul to corporate America and go into sales and make a ton of money. Instead, I know I am called to the mental health profession there is no real fiscal reward for doing so. I can’t have both personal fullfilemt and financial stability.

There is no indication or hope that this could be getting better. So good luck out there guys. I hope we all marry rich.

Leave a Reply