The Cost of Colby Education
The comprehensive fee for the 2009-10 school year is $50,320.
The Colby tuition, I've been told, doesn't even cover the full cost of a Colby education. Where does our money go?
If $50,320 doesn't cover my education, something must be off. And the costs keep going up. It is taken for granted that the cost of higher education rises dramatically with each passing year.
Campus Grotto--a national college news website--annually ranks the most expensive tuitions at American colleges and universities in two categories. The first is the highest total cost. In 2008-09, Colby ranked twentieth at a price-tag of $48,520. For this year we've moved down five rungs to hold the title of the twenty-fifth most expensive school. There's been $1,800 increase, at 3.7 percent.
Not to mention, with the economic downturn, things like 24-hour health center service have been cut. Foss isn't open on the weekends any more. Let me preface this by saying that I fully appreciate the fact that both people and institutions have to make sacrifices to cut costs, especially in light of the serious hit that Colby's endowment took in the fall of 2008. While it's not the greatest situation, I actually do support many of the decisions the school has made to reduce spending. Even so, we keep paying more and more, but I wonder, are we getting less?
Students have to pay $1000 to the College for each semester of study abroad. Does it cost $1000 for a file to sit in an office, or more likely, occupy electronic space on the Colby server? Are we paying for the email correspondences we might make with professors, or the advice we might seek from study abroad advisors while we are away? $1000 might be nominal in comparison to the whopping $50,320 of full tuition, but $1000 is still a lot of money.
The problem, as evidenced by the Campus Grotto list of the most expensive schools, is not unique to Colby; there is something wrong with higher education in America. President Barack Obama touched on the issue in his State of the Union address last month when he was talking about the difficulties of today's economy. "The price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing the middle class," he said.
"By the way," he continued, "it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem."
Yes, sir, they do. But I believe the problem was there even before the economy collapsed the fall of my freshman year. In no way should an education--the very thing that should serve to uplift and enlighten--cost as much as it does.