Why is the Cost of a College Education on the Rise?

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Why is the Cost of a College Education on the Rise?

The cost of a higher education is on the rise.  The cost is being outpaced by just about everything in society today – the cost of food, gasoline, goods and services.  The three main reasons – the value of a college education is more important than ever, a college workforce is one of the most expensive to hire, and colleges are spending lavishly to try to attract your child.

The value of the education exceeds the expense

Recent studies have shown that workers with college degrees make on average 44% more than workers with only high school diplomas. According to U.S. News and World Report, the best estimate for what a student’s college education is actually worth over an entire career is around $300,000. So even as the cost of tuition at schools increases, it’s still more than likely that whatever you end up paying for college, your student will end up making it back and then some.

This fact hasn’t been lost on students.  Today 7 out of 10 high school students enroll in college with the hopes of getting better jobs and earning more money.  Of course this leads to a natural supply and demand situation.  A college education is HIGHLY in demand.  Not just from employers, but from the students themselves that want it.

Colleges are of course well aware of what their services are worth and therefore as college graduates continue to be hired for better jobs with bigger salaries, it’s their natural inclination to charge more.  After all, you can’t argue with the numbers.  As long as the “value” of a college education is worth more than what a college charges you for it and because there’s only a certain number of students schools can accommodate each year, they’ll keep on raising their prices as long as the demand for those spots exists. 

A college faculty is one of the most expensive workforces to hire

The cost of putting together a qualified faculty to dole out that education to all these students is growing higher and higher. Remember what I just pointed out above.  The cost of hiring an educated workforce is rising every year.  And the workforce a college or university is hiring is among the most highly educated you can find.  The majority of instructors will have Masters degrees and doctorates.   And those accolades earn a healthy paycheck. 

According to www.salary.com, the median salary for a typical liberal arts professor is $80,000.  Those with tenure and who publish work can expect to earn much more.  In fact, in 2009, CNN ranked college professor as the 3rd best job in America. Depending on the size of a school, a college faculty can number in the hundreds.  And with an average salary of $80,000 or more, that can add up to a hefty payroll very quickly. That’s not to mention the hundreds of other jobs a college has to pay for.  Coaches, librarians, admissions counselors, dining staff, maintenance crews, etc… Managing a college’s workforce is no less of an undertaking than managing one of a major company.  And no less expensive either.  Hence why your costs continue to rise…


Colleges are spending lavishly to try to attract your student 

Take a minute and think about all those glossy, beautiful looking promotional materials schools have been mailing you over the past few months. What’s on the cover?  A new stadium?  Perhaps a modern looking student center?  Or a newly built academic building with all the bells and whistles you could imagine?  Well there’s good reason for that.

Schools are spending more and more money on campus amenities in an effort to attract students.   Things like fitness centers, modern on-campus apartments, athletic facilities, computer labs, new cafeterias and other dining options… these are the new pieces of eye candy colleges are putting front and center in their marketing plans.

And of course, all of these fancy new attractions cost money.  And lots of it.  So where’s that money coming from?   Sure there’s private fundraising and donations… but much of that tab is paid for by you – the tuition holders.

Every student wants to attend a school with the best facilities, academic, athletic, living or otherwise… but keep in mind those pretty looking buildings aren’t paying for themselves.   Not to mention things like organic fruit in the cafeteria, free Wifi all over campus or a new treadmill in the gym.  

These perks get passed onto you in your bill.  The more updating a college does, the more it’ll cost you to attend. 

Remember, to weigh the cost of what a school offers next to what your student really needs to have.   A great education should be at the top of the list.  Everything else is a nice bonus… but one you’ll have to be willing to pay for.

If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at www.Prep4CollegeNow.com  or call me at 760.877.7200.  I’d love to answer your questions!

[1] Excerpts taken from Scott Weingold, College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of College Planning Network, LLC
By | 2018-06-11T00:39:42-07:00 September 13th, 2011|General College Information, Tuition Costs|Comments Off on Why is the Cost of a College Education on the Rise?