News Jul 29th 2016

Why is College so Expensive?

Cost of college

Anyone who has contemplated a higher education knows how pricey it can be. When you figure out how much you're paying per credit hour, combined with books, housing and living costs, you'll probably be totally staggered. That probably leads you to wonder why college costs so much. There are many explanations that help you learn where your money is going.

Academic Arms Race

According to experts, tuition fees are on the rise because of the academic arms race that is paid for with tuition fees. As that rate goes up, colleges must raise their tuition prices to keep up with it.

Financial Aid

Federal student assistance programs are then funded by these academic arms races. This is when a student can't afford to pay for college so he or she applies for assistance from the government to make the payments.


The bottom line is that colleges have to make money so they can pay their staff, care for the campus and pay for other expenses. As inflation occurs, tuition prices go up to go with it. When a recession hits, everyone feels the pressure, colleges included. This too can cause the price of tuition to go up. Inflation will always make tuition costs go up and that is something that every college student will have to face.

More Students

Many colleges and universities operate at least partially on government funds. As the number of college students go up, the amount that can be allocated to any one of them gets smaller. These days it's much harder to get a job without a college degree, which means more and more people are taking the leap and getting a higher education. While that's a good thing, it does mean that each student is going to be responsible for paying more of their own tuition out of pocket.

It Takes Longer to Graduate

Because the cost of college is so high, many students are having to cut back on their course load in any given semester so they can work. That means it will take longer to finish college, which will raise the overall cost of your degree. In addition, with the dramatic rise in enrolled students, people are finding that they have to wait to complete required classes, prolonging their time in college and raising the cost of graduating.

Cost of Living is Up

Just like with everything else, the cost of living is on the rise. Even college students who live in the dorms are having to shell out a lot more to pay the rent. Off campus housing is also pretty pricey. Having to pay for that means some students are scaling back on their course load so they can make ends meet each semester.

Not Enough Financial Aid to Go Around

Just like the amount of money allocated to each student is smaller because there are so many more people going to college, the amount of financial aid is stretched a lot thinner as well. When more students apply for the available student aid, they are each rewarded with a much smaller amount. The cost of college can be quite daunting, but there are still ways to make it work. Having a part-time job is a great idea, but consider doing work study, which can help knock off some of the costs of college and give you some experience for your resume as well. You might also choose to live with several roommates, which can lower your housing costs. You will need to get creative, but many people are getting a college degree without being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. You can too!

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