A big topic that vanished after the presidential race was narrowed down to two candidates was the cost of college. This was one of Bernie Sander’s key driving points in his run for the Democratic Party Presidential Nomination. Making college more affordable or maybe even free resounds with many young individuals who are currently enrolled in college. Why? Because the cost of college continues to rise and students are putting themselves in mounds of debt in order to get through it.
Currently, I am attending Kennesaw State University (KSU). I elected a public college like KSU because it is more affordable. I am commuter as well because the cost of living on campus or even near it is out of my price range. Recently, I signed up for one summer class. After signing up, I received an email notifying me that the estimated cost was available. Like every semester, I shook my head at the cost. As seen in the image below, the cost for one class is going to be almost $1,400.
The actual cost for my class is only $500. This is not bad as the class is over the summer and an upper level class. Factors like these tend to elevate the cost of a class. The big issue in all this is the fees. For the summer semester, I will be paying almost $900 in fees. I understand that fees are necessary to cover the cost of other services available on campus. Also, students are charged the fees even if they do not use the service in order to spread out the cost amongst all the students. All this makes sense. KSU even has the courtesy of providing the students with a page explaining the purpose of each fee.
The fees are simply too high and we, the students, are being taken advantage of. Currently, there are 25,000 full-times students. Hence, there are 25,000 students charged each of the fees above and the school is generating huge amounts of money to cover each one. By doing some simple multiplication between the cost of the fee and the number of students, we can estimate just how much KSU generates for each service For parking, KSU musters up roughly $2.2 million each fall and spring semester (note: KSU charges the same fee amount each semester). Without taking into account the summer semester, KSU charges an estimated total of $4.4 million for parking. Does KSU really need $4.4 million to maintain the parking? Personally, I do not think so. The amount is absurd especially after having experienced the struggle of finding a parking spot during the school’s rush hours. The same can be said for the rest of the fees KSU charges its students. Take into account KSU’s culinary department, which recently came under fire for the way the school was handling the student’s meal plan services. For each, it feels as if the students are being cheated by the system.
For most of us, school is an investment. We pay the tuition and fees and work our asses off because we want better job opportunities in life. Thus, we do not want a hand out from the school when it comes to the cost because we understand that a good education can be costly. What we need instead is that public universities to stop taking advantage of their students and charge a fair amount to attend school. The purpose of college is to help create better futures for its students. Putting them in mounds of debt because of greed could cloud their future instead of making it better. Hopefully, this topic we reappear in American politics and students will get some help in fighting the cost of getting an education.