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Why colleges are so expensive?

by William Oja
Why colleges are so expensive

College is a necessary step on the path to success, and that means it’s not cheap. In fact, according to The College Board, the average cost of attendance at a four-year US institution was $37,172 in the 2016-2017 school year. So what’s causing this astronomic price tag? It turns out there are a lot of factors at play, from rising fees to shrinking state funding. But no matter the cause, college is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many Americans.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why colleges are so expensive and offer some tips on how you can prepare for college without breaking the bank. From finding scholarships to tackling financial aid applications, read on for advice on how to make college affordable for you.

College is an expensive proposition, and there’s no getting around that. From tuition to room and board, it can be hard to save up for a degree. But why are colleges so expensive? In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why colleges are so expensive, and what you can do to save money on your education. From finding scholarships to working during school, there are many ways to lower your costs without sacrificing quality.

The Cost of College

In America, the cost of an education has become a major concern for many families. College is seen as a necessary stepping stone to success, but with tuition prices rapidly increasing, it can be hard for people to justify the expense. Let’s explore some of the reasons why colleges are so expensive.

The first reason is that colleges receive a significant amount of government funding. In 2012, state and federal governments contributed $1 trillion to higher education programs, which is more than double what they contributed in 1990 (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev). This funding allows colleges to offer steeply discounted rates to students and maintain high levels of academic quality.

Another factor contributing to college costs is the high salaries that graduates earn. College graduates typically earn much more than those who only complete high school or no schooling at all. According to The New York Times, “Between 2009 and 2013, the average annual wage for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $50,600, compared with $34,000 for those with just a high school diploma or GED.” This means that even though college may be expensive, it is worth it for graduates who can expect high-paying jobs after graduation.

Finally, colleges have developed costly new amenities over time. These amenities include things like skyboxes at football games and luxurious dormitories. Some schools have even started charging students for basic needs like food and laundry services. All these extra charges add up quickly

The cost of a college education continues to increase year after year, leaving many students and their families with a hefty bill. While there are many reasons for this trend, the main culprit is the increasing demand for higher education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of attending a four-year university increased by 6% between 2006 and 2011. And while this rate may have slowed down since then, it’s still significantly higher than inflation, which averaged just 2.6% during that time period.

Here are some ways colleges are expensive:

1. Tuition and fees: This is the biggest expense for most students, accounting for more than two-thirds of total costs at most colleges. The average tuition and fees at public universities rose 9% from 2009 to 2013, according to the College Board report “Trends in College Pricing.” The cost of an elite private school can be even more expensive. For example, the annual tuition and fees at Northeastern University (one of America’s most selective schools) is $63,240.

2. Room and board: Another big expense, room and board accounts for nearly one-third of total college costs. Inexpensive dormitories only go so far towards reducing costs here – on average, students spend an additional $5,000 per year on food expenses alone!

3. Books and supplies: College textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars each semester, and students also need supplies.

The Dangers of Going to College

The cost of a college education has been on the rise for decades, outpacing inflation and wage growth. Many students and their families are unsure of whether going to college is worth the expense.

There are many reasons why colleges are so expensive. The most obvious culprit is the increasing cost of tuition and fees. Tuition at public universities increased by an average of 6% each year from 2006 to2012, while private university tuition increased by an average of 11%. In addition, campus amenities have become increasingly expensive, resulting in increased costs for housing, food, transportation, and other amenities. Moreover, many colleges have instituted marketing campaigns that tout the benefits of a college degree even when salaries haven’t risen significantly since the recession.

There are also indirect costs associated with attending a four-year institution such as student loan debt. According to The Economist, “between 2007 and 2015 American students took out $1 trillion in loans: more than ever before but also less than during the height of the borrowing binge two decades earlier” (Sharma). This debt can limit future opportunities and create financial burdens that may persist long after students have graduated from college.

The Pros and Cons of Getting a College Degree

here are definitely pros and cons to getting a college degree, but the fact of the matter is that a four-year degree from a top-tier school can be very valuable in today’s job market. Here are some of the pros:

1. College degrees often lead to higher salaries. According to The Huffington Post, in 2015, the average wage for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $60,591, while the average wage for someone with an associate’s degree was $41,101.

2. College degrees often come with more opportunities for career growth. Many companies now require employers to pre-qualify candidates who have college degrees, so having one may give you an edge over someone without one.

3. College degrees can help you build good credit history. A college degree shows that you’re serious about your education and career goals, which can make it easier to get loans and other financial assistance when you start your own business or join a company later on down the road.

4. College degrees often lead to better job prospects. Once you’ve graduated from college, there’s a good chance that all those hard classes paid off – many employers are looking for graduates with degrees from prestigious schools


Here are some of the cons:


  1. The cost of tuition continues to rise faster than the rate of inflation.
    2. Colleges receive massive tax breaks and subsidies from government agencies.
    3. Universities have been merrily increasing their administrative costs without passing those costs along to students in the form of higher tuition prices.
    4. State governments are giving away billions of dollars in financial aid to students, which has helped fuel the increasing cost of college education.
    5. Professors are earning more money than ever before, while their teaching responsibilities have decreased in terms of hours spent on campus per week.


College is an expensive proposition, and there are a few reasons why. The cost of tuition has steadily increased over the past several decades and will continue to do so in the future. There have also been increases in other expenses associated with attending college, such as food and housing costs. In addition, many students borrow money to finance their education and end up paying back more than they originally borrowed. Finally, inflation has outpaced wage growth during most of the past couple of decades, meaning that even if you earn a degree today, it may not be worth as much five or ten years from now.


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