When I was looking into local schools here, I had a really hard time trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it. This wasn’t due to a lack of financial aid; I qualified for a few grants, and I could go to class around my work schedule. But trying to figure out the actual university costs was next to impossible.
No one seemed to have the information I needed in one place. Instead, everything was scattered in different packets, handled by different departments, and just when I thought I had the full picture I would find out there was another explanation sheet with a different price tag listed. Many schools are like this, with only some offering a full university costs list.
Now, that is changing. Thanks to the Obama administration and the US Department of Education, there will now be a federally mandated “shopping sheet“ that will show all costs for each school. This list is set to include tuition, housing, food, books and other elements that are crucial for making a decision on where to attend college.
What I found most interesting about this story is the fact that it is similar in look to the car dealership stickers on new vehicles. That is apparently what it was designed to resemble for the sake of convenience. I never would have thought to present university costs in the same way someone would explain the price of a new Ford. But, maybe that’s why I am not in power…among many other reasons.
Already, I have been reading critical comments about this all over the web. People have been asking what the point is, and saying that more important things should be happening than issuing a price sheet.
Look people, just because a price sheet template was created to make it easier to comparison shop schools, doesn’t mean nothing else is being handled at the White House or Department of Education. Plenty is going on. This was just green lighted, and a small team on staff issued it. Why does that have to mean time or money is being wasted?
I think it is a great idea, because it will allow students to get a genuine look at how much they could be paying. I have heard so many people admit that they didn’t know how much debt they would end up in when they applied for a school. It is better to know now than to be stuck with student loan fees then years later with no end in sight.
Of course, all these sheets will really do is cause you to have a heart attack. Because the new projections for higher education costs are now in, as well.
According to experts, in just 18 short years we will see four year universities skyrocket in price to $130,428a year. You read that right, in a single year of schooling you could be paying fees that are now the entire degree cost.
But that isn’t all. In that same period of time, state schools will cost around $41,228 per year. That is a huge cost for what is essentially a second rate education.
What this means is that, even if we have a price sheet for comparison, no one will be able to afford school but the extremely rich. Even the so-called 1% that have been spouting off about how you should get the education you can afford will be screwed. Which is a little funny, but in a tragic way that shows a potential end to all higher education in this country.
On the plus side, that number is so cartoonishly high that when no one starts applying for either state or four year university programs, I bet you will see costs plummet. Nothing motivates lower rates than people refusing to pay high ones.
In any case, there is a huge problem in this country. Perhaps these new projections will stress to US leaders and academics alike that something needs to be done now. Before costs continue to rise to catastrophic proportions.
At least we will have pretty new university cost sheets to tell us to choose a trade school.