College Costs and Prices
One thing that is stressed the most in today's society is a college education. Not only do parents want their children to have one, something that is even more stressed is the price we pay to obtain one. Something that needs to be understood is the difference between college costs and college prices. College costs refer to what the institutions spend on education and related services, while college prices are what the students and their families are charged for a higher education along with the money that actually comes from their pockets (Geller viii). Is what we receive from a college education worth what we pay for? Some say yes, and some say no. It really all comes down to how much one has to pay for schooling, how much they can afford to pay, how much one has to pay after they graduate, and how much they get paid. There are many ways to lower the price that is paid for college. One just has to know how to do it in advance and be fully prepared for the work that it requires. In the end, a college education will be worth it.
According to Dr. Howard Rothmann Bowen, the costs of college tend to get higher as students climb up the academic ladder. The educational cost per student, therefore, tends to be greater in institutions with high proportions of advanced students than in institutions with high proportions of beginners. According to Bowen's book, The Costs of Higher Education, all the expenditures of higher education are paid out to staff as wages or salaries, to outside vendors for the purchase of goods and services, to students for financial aid, and to outside vendors for the purchase of goods and services, and to outside vendors and contractors for the purchase of capital goods such as buildings and equipment (8). Appendix A is a table from Bowen's book expressing different administrative divisions and what percent of expenditures they receive from America's colleges and universities in a single year. Referring to Appendix A, Dr. Bowen states that only 33.1% of total expenditures are spent directly for instruction and departmental research. When added to student services, scholarships and fellowships, and a share of academic support, institutional support, and operations and maintenance of plant, the percentage that may be allocated towards the education of students is 58.9% of total expenditures. Although 58.9% may not seem like a lot put forth to the students at the institution, the rest of it goes towards things that are needed in colleges and universities. Organized research and public services is an important asset to the well-being of the institution, as well as auxiliary enterprises and teaching hospitals, which makes up the other 41.1% of the total. All of the costs of college are worth the price that is paid, when one is smart about the way that they go about the college choice and application process (Bowen 6). According to The College Board, on average, a 4 year college costs $7,605 per year for tuition and fees for in-state students. For out-of-state students, the average cost is $11,990 (College). Keep in mind that this is excluding the cost of housing, meals, and books and supplies as well as anything else a student may need to purchase for college. Increases and decreases in tuition, fees, and financial aid may affect a student's access to college, choice of schools, affordability, and the competition when trying to complete a program or receive a degree. However, most discussions of college price generally focus on sticker price (disregarding financial aid) rather than net price, after financial aid has been taken into account (Geller 13).
The chart on the next page was taken from Thomas J. Kane's book called The Price of Admission: Rethinking How American's Pay for College . Source of the statistics were of the author's calculations based on combined data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey in 1992-93 with data from the Integrated Postsecondary...
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