College Is Expensive Because It's A Business Before Anything Else, Deal With It

College Is Expensive Because It's A Business Before Anything Else, Deal With It

It's a brand. It's a status. It's a lifestyle.


Over the last decade or so, tuition has skyrocketed to unparalleled levels.

The good theory on why colleges have become so insanely expensive in the United States is because higher education is believed to be treated more along the lines of a business, and nobody knows how to brand higher education better than university administrators in the United States.

It is a brand. It is a status. It is a lifestyle.

When you look at other countries, the best, top universities are public schools. Oxford. Cambridge. Sorbonne. The University of Tokyo. Only if you cannot get into the top, public universities, would you ask your parents to shell out lots of money to get a degree from a lower-ranked, private university?

However, that order is completely reversed in the United States. Supposedly, the best and the brightest go to the Ivy League. The future leaders of the country go to Stanford and Duke. Or at least we are led to believe that, through subliminal messaging and smart marketing.

Only in the United States, save UC Berkeley's impeccable international reputation, the best brands internationally are Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, etc. The list goes on and on. And they are all private schools where international students have bought into the hype and are fighting for those precious seats at these famous universities. The economic principle of supply and demand is quite alive.

Right around 15 to 20 years ago, when tuition started to increase at a disproportionately higher rate than inflation, university administrators and trustees already figured out that they could raise the tuition as high as the market would bear. And because they have figured out how to market the brand very well, they could afford to keep on raising tuition. To their own surprise, people have kept on paying! Why? Universities have provided just about everything.

Top of the line residence halls. Chefs and multiple different meal choices. Libraries bigger than high schools. State of the art athletic facilities and recreation centers. Sports teams. Campus services and administrators. Student activities and events. Clubs. Famous researchers. Research equipment and labs.

In the United States, college has become more than just an education.

Even public schools are in the game of branding and lifestyle marketing. Let's think about it. The University of Alabama has had arguably the best college football team in the country for the past 10 years. Nick Saban is expected to make around $8.3 million this year alone. $8.3 MILLION.

How many people have watched the Alabama football team playing on TV? How many people want to buy a University of Alabama jersey or t-shirt just to feel that they belong? But out of all the people buying these jerseys and t-shirts, what percentage of them actually go to the University of Alabama? The same things apply to the athletic departments at Michigan, Nebraska, Cal, UCLA, UNC Chapel Hill, etc. etc.

The biggest pet peeve of all of this is that universities aren't as publicly funded by the government as they used to be. Education is a very minuscule part of federal spending compared to social security, Medicare, and military and defense. Many say this is because taxpayers don't want to pay for the education of others. We may never fully understand why. However, a change in the system must happen if students are so adamant about lowering school tuition.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.


In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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