College Expenses Essay

Many of our social media feeds are lighting up with news of where this year’s high school seniors have decided to go to college next year.  It’s an exciting time for them, but - as Lake Effect essayist Jessie Garcia can attest - a stressful time for their parents:

It's April, which for you might mean taxes, or baseball, or more rain than sun. But for me this year has a whole new feel: college decision anxiety. My son is a high school senior. He applied to 11 schools - all across the country...from Stanford to UW-Madison to New York University. He got into six of his choices and was waitlisted at one. Stanford rejected him, so did three other elite institutions that boast acceptance rates under 6%,

The final decisions came in just before April 1st. He has until May 1st to decide. One month of stress piled on stress wrapped in stress. It would be so easy if he could just pick his favorite and start blasting it all over Facebook - or rather, Snapchat. Facebook is so 2015, I'm told. But the final verdict is not that simple: the elephant not only in the room but stomping on our heads is money. As an example, Jake was accepted to NYU. Tuition, room, board, books and related expenses? Over $70,000. We were stunned to find out that the financial aid office at NYU offer us no money. Zero. Not even work study. Without divulging too many personal details, I can tell you what our financial adviser told us: Paying $70,000 per year would cripple us. It would drain every cent we have and more. Get ready to sell the house, forget retirement...and your second son? There would be no money left for his education. So I called NYU to see about an appeals process and was They go off a number generated by two forms parents must fill out. My next stop was to double check the forms - had we made a clerical error? None that I could see. How is this possible then? After some research I discovered that many people feel the middle class is being squeezed out of affordable college entry. Schools would love for you to pay full freight - it helps their bottom line, of course. And they reserve some money for very low income families with deserving children - just as they should. But the middle class neither makes enough or too little. So they can accept lots of middle income people and wait to see who can pay.

Since these decisions came out, we have had long talks with my son about finances and he gets it, but it doesn't quell his disappointment. To quote him: "It's just the worst feeling when you work so hard to get into these schools and they offer you absolutely nothing."

Right now, unless some miracle drops on our heads, it looks like he's going to either UW-Madison or the University of Minnesota. Both are wonderful schools, and he'll be blessed with a world-class education. I also know he'll have a great time at either.

This whole process has made me appreciate state schools even more. I work at one. I teach at UWM. I know the quality of the faculty and staff. There are other benefits to state schools: the range of students, the diversity, the number of majors and activities at large institutions. The tuition at a state school will still be a stretch for us, but at least we know he won't graduate more than $100,000 into a loan hole.

Maybe NYU - and the other expensive schools that offered us no money - will somehow see the error of their ways in the future and try harder to recruit and retain deserving middle class kids. But more than likely not. And that's a shame, because it denies really great students access to schools they might love to attend. In the meantime, "On Wisconsin" or "Go Gophers." It makes all the sense in the world, for us.

Jessie Garcia is an author and former Milwaukee sportscaster who is writing her fourth book; this one on her son's high school years and the college search process.  And just an update - since she wrote her essay, Jessie’s son has decided he’ll be a Minnesota Golden Gopher this fall.

Lake Effect essayist Jessie Garcia reads, "College Expenses."

College Costs Essay

College Costs


           It's no secret that financing a college education is getting
tougher. College costs have skyrocketed over the past decade or so, and there's
no relief in sight. Average tuition at four-year colleges will increase 7
percent this school year, double the rate of inflation. Student aid is not
increasing fast enough to plug the growing gap between tuition and family
finances. In addition, there is a growing number of older students entering
college today. These students have families that they need to support. I know,
because I am a family man who has returned to school. I wish to finish my
degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The only problems I face are
financial in nature. It is with this in mind that I set about this research. The
not so simple question: Is financial aid available to older students, and if so,
how do they go about obtaining it?

The Cost Of Education

          The cost of higher education varies by type of institution.
Tuition is highest at private 4-year institutions, and lowest at public 2-year
institutions. The private 4-year colleges nearly quadrupled their average
tuition rates between 1975 and 1996. For private 4-year colleges, tuition and
fees for the 1995-96 academic year averaged about $15,400, compared with about
$5006 at public 4-year colleges. The cost of attending an institution of higher
education includes not only tuition and fees, however, but also books and
supplies, transportation, personal expenses and, sometimes, room and board.
Although tuition and fees generally are substantially lower at public
institutions than at private ones, the other student costs are about the same.
According to MS-Encarta94,"the average cost for tuition, fees, and room and
board for the 1995-96 academic year at private 4-year colleges was about $20,165.
At public 4-year colleges the average combined cost was about $9290" (Encarta94).

          The cost of attending RIT is approximately $15700 per year. This
does not include room and board, or books, and supplies . This cost falls in
line with the national average. However , according to Rachel Shuman of the RIT
Financial Aid Department,"the increase in cost at RIT was 4.8 percent for the
1996-97 academic year over the 1995-96 academic year." This falls 2.2 percent
below the national average for 4 year private institutions. Still, $15700 is a
lot of dollars for an unemployed family man or woman with little or no income.

The Cost Of Living Factor

          Though the Cost Of Living is not directly related to tuition it
is still a major player in the decision making process. Is it possible to
maintain a family financial structure while paying for an education? The cost of
a mortgage, or rent, and other bills that...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Economics of College Essay

1366 words - 5 pages As we grow up, everyone asks us what we want to be when we grow up. Once we get a little older, they ask where we want to go to college. They ask every question imaginable, except how we are going handle the financial responsibility. The decision to attend college quite often results in major student debt. This debt often influences a person’s decisions on where to attend college or if they are able to attend college. With attending...

High School To College Essay

1034 words - 4 pages High school is very different from college in many ways. Some people would say that college is better than high school. Others would think vice versa, but by the time you finish reading my paper you will be able to see how I feel. High school and college can be compared based on freedom, dress code, food and costs. Freedom is one of the greatest...

Cost of College Controversy

1052 words - 4 pages One of the major pieces to becoming a successful business man/woman is receiving a college education. A college degree is viewed as a necessity and is slowly becoming an unreachable goal for some people. Most believe that the cost of college has been rising and continues to rise, and that the rate of increase is outpacing that of other costs (NAICU). As the cost of college rises, families have to change their way of life to be fortunate enough...

Fighting the Cost of College Tuition

1960 words - 8 pages Fighting the Cost of College Tuition College tuition is a hot topic these days. For a long time, people did not pay much attention to tuition. Today, things are changing. More and more, people are realizing how high tuition has gotten and now they want that to change. In the following essay, I have tried to tackle a very difficult topic. The problem with this topic was that, during research, I found that almost all of the...

College Recruiting

1661 words - 7 pages College Recruiting MBA 504 Human Resource Management National-Louis University Julie Pflomm Professor: Ken Bellinder January 22, 2001 Introduction ?Recruiting is the process of identifying and attracting a pool of candidates, from which some will later be selected to receive employment offers? (Milkovich & Bougreau, p. 181)....


2300 words - 9 pages College Education      College education is a highly talked about subject among the presidents. For many years college education was not highly sought after or looked for, then when people who did go to college started getting better paying jobs than everyone else more and more people started to go to college. Since college is such a hot commodity these days the price of a college education is on a steady rise. Some...

Is College Worth the Money?

1161 words - 5 pages Is College Worth the Money? Imagine telling a student who just graduated from college that you have wasted four years of hard, stressful and even worse, expensive work. Unfortunately, in this cynical society today, the world isn’t just full of competitors, but it’s full of greedy money-grabbing businesses. The worst businesses aren’t manufacturing or electric companies, but colleges and universities. In Caroline Bird’s essay “College...

Large leap

744 words - 3 pages Christopher WilsonProfessor BruckwickiENGL 1301November 10,2014Large LeapThe leap from high school to college is a large one. Many students enter post-secondary education expecting the experience to be the same as the one they had while at secondary school. These students are wrong to make this assumption, and they very quickly realize just how different college is. College costs more, presents more academic...

College Athletes Deserve to Be Paid

1787 words - 7 pages College athletes should be paid! College athletes are often considered to be some of the luckiest students in the world. Most of them receiving all inclusive scholarships that cover all the costs of their education. They are also in a position to make a reputation for themselves in the sporting world preparing them for the next step. The ongoing debate whether student athletes should be paid has been going on for years. These athletes bring in...

How to Beat Rising Education Costs

1577 words - 6 pages Beating High Education Costs The high cost of a college education seems to dampen people's hope of achieving higher education. Many families struggle just to put their children through college. When people think of college do they see a price tag, or a priceless experience that will change their future? It is upsetting to think that a people may not be able to further their education based solely upon whether or not they...

A University Degree is a Good Investment

2577 words - 10 pages As a recent high school graduate, I spent the last year of high school deciding what I want to do with my life. It was time to seriously answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As a child this question seems so broad and open. There are a million things to choose from. One day I could’ve been a teacher, and the next day a veterinarian. But one thing you don’t hear most kids say they dream about being is a college...

0 thoughts on “College Expenses Essay”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *