I appreciate graduate assistants, but I feel that they should be just that: assistants.
I am an honors student and work really hard for the grades I get and the scholarships I have. Unfortunately, the University of Tennessee does not give out a ton of scholarships and the ones I have barely cover half of our $5,555 tuition for a full load each semester. I pay $5,555 in tuition to attend UT. And this semester, that means I am paying $1,111 to the four professors that have doctorates that are teaching me, but I am also paying $1,111 for my fifth class of the semester: which is taught by a graduate assistant.
I understand graduate school is very expensive and very difficult, but having to pay the same price to be taught by someone who does not have a doctoral degree seems a little ridiculous to me. I do not expect that those grad students are receiving the same amount as an average college professor so why am I having to pay the same amount for the course?
I should remind everyone that the tuition money simply goes to a seat in the class.
It does not include textbooks, homework materials, or online resources you are required to have. All of those items are placed under a different fee and while some Universities claim they are under the "tuition" that just means that total we pay not the actual amount per class.
I will never understand why the institutions of higher education are priced the way they are when very few people can afford them, but the majority of people will need a degree to perform the job they want to. What I do understand is that it is simply unacceptable for colleges to force students to pay the same amount for a course taught by someone with less educational experience than peers taking the same course.
I understand Universities want to save money and not pay lecturers to teach 100 and 200 level courses, but if that is the case then charge less for them and leave the high tuition dollars to students being taught by a professor, not a student.