Thursday, November 19, 2009

We don't need no education

I know it's not on my Honey-Do list, but it's my blog, and I'm going to write about what I want to write about, dammit.

I was reading CNN this evening and stumbled across this article.

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Angry students staged a sit-in Thursday in an attempt to block university officials from leaving the UCLA campus after the California Board of Regents voted to raise undergraduate tuition 32 percent over the next two years.

Oh. My. God. A 32% increase! That is ludicrous. No wonder they were protesting.

The cost of higher education in this country is absolutely astounding. The average tuition for a private four year college in the US in 2009 is over $26,000. This is not including books, fees, room or board. This is solely the class tuition. The average room and board will run you around $8500, give or take. Just to live on campus, and attend class full time, you're looking at almost $35,000 per year to receive a bachelors degree. (Then I suppose you'll need books. And frivolous things like clothing and shampoo.) If you attend for four years, this makes the total cost almost $140,000. You could buy a house for that. In some places, you could buy two*.

The Hubbin' and I both graduated with student loans to pay for our education. Our combined total at the time of consolidation was a little over 30k. Not too shabby, considering he went to an engineering college, and I was a professional student. But we both had family help, and I had a trust fund, so that significantly offset the cost for us. Still, our payments to the loan company, at a 4% locked rate, are still just shy of $300 per month. I can not even fathom how high they'd be if we had 140k financed. How do you live? How do you afford the basics - food, shelter, transportation to get to the job that you financed your life away to get? I went to school for writing, and teaching, by proxy. The average yearly salary for a new teacher is significantly less than the average cost of college for one year. How does that make sense?

Teachers are taking paycuts, supplies and materials are lacking, but at the same time, enrollment is up, the money from the hefty tuition is coming in. If it's not going to the teachers, and it's not going to the students via supplies and materials, where is all this money going?

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

*If you find those places, let me know, okay?

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