Why does it cost so much to go to college? We pay tuition, I get that. Parking tag, I can almost understand. Students and staff have to park somewhere, and it wouldn’t be fair for it to be first come first serve and the price for the hang tag is just another way to sneeze a few extra dollars out of each student. Then there are lab fees. These too I can understand, if you are actually attending a lab. Online labs shouldn’t count as chargeable. More on that later. Then there are the technology fees. Students pay whether they use the campus technology or not, it is nice that they give each student money for printing at the beginning of each semester. I also enjoy the wifi.
One of the biggest wallet chompers is books. Man are they expensive. I had to take Spanish 1 and 2 as a requirement and not required a loose leaf book and a access code to an online learning center where all course work and tests were take. These two things cost me around $180. Granted they lasted for two years and I didn’t have to buy a new set for the second class, but the bookstores don’t buy back loose leaf books.
This brings me to my next point. Is it fair for professors to require students to buy access codes to online classes? I pay the tuition and fees of about $230 per credit hour. That makes a 4 hour class a little above $900. If that class is a science it adds an extra $230 and then if it is online it is an extra $150+ for access to the online course work. Plus lab fees, even though there isn’t an actual physical lab and you are doing the labs online or at home. This means you are paying a lab fee but not actually using the equipment you are paying for. See what I mean? These courses in which the material and work is provided on the publisher’s website are basically classes in which the professor doesn’t have to do much of anything. The program grades the quizzes and that is about it. If the professor would just provide the work on the online class website the college already provides there would only be the need for a lower cost book without the online access code.
The type of career I want requires a college degree. Also I love college. I love the classes, being around people, and most of all expanding my knowledge. But, college is a freaking racket. It seems like the more students a university gets the more ways it finds to squeeze out just one more dollar. Is it worth it? I won’t know until I am finished and staring my new career. I sure hope it is.