Why does college cost so much?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Glen D 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    I paid $100 per credit hour in the 80’s for a state university. Paid for college with a part time job and a few small scholarships. I was recently thinking of becoming a math or physics instructor at the local college and the pathetic pay for a lowly instructor is not worth the effort. So who is getting all that money leveraged against the future of the student?



    I live in one of the most expensive parts of the country, and you can attend community college here for $107 per credit hour plus fees…And you know what? I’m seeing a lot of really affordable options out there to get through school. You just have to get creative. If you want to go to a brand-name school you’re going to pay the price…

    I think it costs so much money because it’s become a business….Just like anything else. The government is making tons of money off the student loan debt

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Ivy.
    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Ivy.


    Expensive universities is a phenomenon seen in mostly Anglo-saxon countries and even then the differences are enormous. A Canadian or Irish university isn’t dirt cheap but there is a limit to how much they can charge. I think the average in Canada is $5,000 USD a year which incudes the best and most prestigious universities and several poitical parties have promised drastically tuition cuts. New Zealand is a fair bit cheaper. Australia is more expesive. The US however is a universe of its own. The first time I head the figure of $50,000 a year for Loyola College my jaw dropped. In Belgium and Spain I spent about €500 a year ($450 USD) for my undergrad and graduate degrees. Both were prestigious universities. I wondered what could make one university cost 100x as much as another. The answer, as it often comes down to it, is government spending. In most of Europe (and to a much lesser extent in Canada and Ireland) the governments take it as fairy obvious that high tuition seriously limits upwards mobility, concentrates higher opportunities into the hands of students with rich parents, lowers the level of merit based admissions, limits the pool of talented students, limits the amount of educated citizens, commercializes educational institutions, disproportionately excludes people of marginalized groups (especially by race) poses an enormous burden on students, that university’s scholarships are inadequate and admission scams become more common the higher the economic barrier. Money speaks. It comes down to a populace that is unwilling to part with money. To allow the government to invest in something that may not directly benefit you (despite it quite likely indirectly benefiting people). For example a few of the more socially cruel US states are utterly loathed or simply refuse to spend money on the homeless and those who are evicted. The feeling on the ground is “those who benefit are irresponsible deadbeats”. Except of course not all homeless are deadbeats and the consequences of allowing high levels of homelessness and people economically losing everything, is immense social problems, higher costs in social services needed later on, much higher levels of violence and crime which costs more for police services and unpaid medical bills, raises the likelihood you’ll be the victim of crime, puts higher pressures on child services and so on and so on. The same seems to be the case with universities. Unless I directly benefit, then fuck those kids and their “free ride”. Despite the fact that it  is, even to some small degree, socially irresponsible to just neglect those who are in need or raise unnecessary barriers, it also has negative economic consequences. When tuition gets up to $50,000 USD a year, you know there is a very serious problem. Luckily some states in the US have somewhat affordable universities (especially state universities) some of which are heavily subsidized. A few states have public universities with tuition as low as $2,000 for long term residents in financial need. That isn’t “free” like in several countries, but free an unrealistic goal in some places but it most certainly lowers the economic barrier a LOT. Surprisingly  it isn’t even a hard liberal/conservative question or democrat/republican question. Several states in the Mid West with conservative Republican governments have affordable universities as is the case in states like Wyoming…a whole lot cheaper than liberal/democratic states in the North East or many other more remote places.



    50K bucks a year..wow ! For many fields as long as the college is accredited correctly; grades matter as much as the school for many employers.

    Many of us were inspired by great teachers. Decades after graduation I still recall the exact phrasing a particular professor used to really drive home important points. I would borrow that phrasing when mentoring new hires who let those key points get by them.

    We used to have a lot of fun with “Liberty University” on this forum.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  _Robert_.


    I just cant imagine starting my career  in so much debt. I wonder why professors aren’t boycotting against their administrators?



    Wow those numbers would be a dream! I’m spending 40 grand on my PhD and that’s on the cheap end! I can’t imagine only paying 5000 bucks for a prestigious university???? One more reason why I really hate this country and I’m planning to leave as soon as I can.


    There is a cartoon in the latest Private Eye magazine where an old man is on his death bed, speaking with a doctor. The caption reads: “And in lieu of flowers, donations please to my student debt”……..


    One of my nieces has just been accepted into Georgia Tech which means paying In-State tuition fees. The difference if she was from out of State is considerable, at least 3 times more expensive.

    I know several pharmacists (from a business I once had) some of whom got their Science degrees in Ireland and some who went to University in England or Scotland to do the exact same course. Those that traveled abroad had no debt when they finished as University was free!



    Much like it is with today’s hospitals, universities suffer from a so-called “edifice complex.” In other words, check out expensive architecture on so many campuses.


    Glen D


    WOW!  Truly sorry to hear that. I’ve heard  US  university education is hideously expensive, leaving students  with massive debts..

    Here in Australia  we have HECS. (Higher Education Contributory Scheme) There are course fees, which vary between courses, states and universities.

    If you are unable to pay fees upfront, they become a debt. Such debts do not become payable until your income reaches a set level. This only applies to Australian residents.

    The link below shows current fees at Adelaide University for overseas students.  Adelaide is an excellent university and where I  attended. Living expenses are also  outlined



    I’l be happy to talk about Australia’s universal health care system in another thread


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