I Should NOT Be Paying $1,000 To Be Taught By A Graduate Assistant

I Should NOT Be Paying $1,000 To Be Taught By A Graduate Assistant

The price tag for universities goes up every year and tuition expenses are skyrocketing while universities fill in professors with graduate students and charge undergraduates the same price as if they were being taught by a professor.

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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.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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