I was watching something on television yesterday and then my Tivo kicked in a suggestion. This happens often as I like to see what it thinks I'm interested in. Anyhow, it started recording a special titled Why Does College Cost So Much... And Is It Worth It? The show walked through the normal issues of rising tuition costs countered with the lower teacher to student ratios, the expensive classrooms and even a college with a 52 person capacity hot tub. Since, I'm returning to education, of course I found it interesting to see the reasons for increased tuition. It seemed to make a lot of sense until about 20 minutes or so in. You see, they gave two different viewpoints (one prior to going in and one after.)
One soon to be student comes from a family that earns $100,000 a year which was over the limit to get assistance yet the parents hadn't considered putting any money away for their daughter's college. They were upset with the system. The father urged her to consider community college for the first few years and the mother would not allow it. The journalists followed the family around as they toured schools for a few months.
Perspective #2 was of a woman who just finished 4 years of college (tuition and fees paid were $135,000) and now owed $80,000 in college loans. (Yes, this means that either she, grants or scholarships paid off the other $55,000.) When asked why she chose such an expensive school she replied, "I was told that I'd fit in better there." She proceeds to talk about how hard it is now after finishing school. The graduate had been at the mall with her friends looking at dresses for their formal and (she sniffles and tears up) she has to look in the clearance rack for her dress. (Tears are now streaming down her face as she looks at the camera.) She then says that she doesn't know when she'll be able to buy designer clothes again.
I laughed so hard that I had to watch it again (this time showing it to Kerry.) Kerry herself has been putting money away for her son David's education while earning much less than half of what the first family mentioned. Sometimes it hurts having to save but it is necessary. Sure, things can go wrong and that happens but making an attempt doesn't hurt. Leaving community college out as an option is also rather petty. The post-student irks me the most. Now that you've graduated, nothing has changed other than the height of the ceiling as you enter the working class and what floor. Yes, you owe student loans and you will for quite some time but to see someone cry over not being able to purchase designer items... boo friggen hoo!