Rising College Expenses: The Dark Side

By Spencer Mann, Trending Writer

In just a generation, the price of higher education in the United States has gone from a cost that is just as usual as buying groceries to one that is affecting the lifelong finances of many young professionals around the country. The change has begun reaching catastrophic levels and many individuals around the world have taken firm notice. There has been an overload of attempts to explain this phenomenon that has intruded the minds of any hopeful college graduating within the last decade. Despite the immense invoices that show up in each student’s mailbox every six months, attending college is still “affordable” for a much larger portion of people than expected. This possibility stems from the college loan system, where everybody wins, except the student.

When somebody sets out to purchase a house, there is always a long, tedious process of negotiation until a final agreement emerges. The price of attending college has reached (or even surpassed) the cost of purchasing a house. However, the process of becoming a homeowner is much fairer to the buyer than the procedure for a student. Universities have always set their prices for tuition and housing. However, they have also set something far more impactful. In the college arena, an atmosphere has been established in that discussing or negotiating any money outside of scholarships and loans is frowned upon. Administration shows that they can be replaced at any time and that the price must be accepted. From an economic point of view, this method has clearly been a huge success for universities and private lenders around the country. The goal of higher education has never been to squeeze a bigger profit in the classical philosophy department, until recent times have proven otherwise. In a way, being in debt and struggling to find a job has helped school spirit. It is easy to stand by one’s university when its career center is the only place to go after a student has been advised to borrow a quarter of a million dollars for a degree that has not shown to be particularly useful.

American universities set the price of receiving higher education. With that said, they also control the context related to the payment of college, and the channels of information that we use to succeed. If career fairs were just about employers seeking prospective employees, then why are they always hosted at universities?

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, December 10th print edition.

Contact Spencer at



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