College means partying until 3 a.m. and then waking up for an 8 a.m. test. Add that to the total freedom from parents and college can be “the best four years of your life.” Unfortunately, the amount it costs to obtain such an experience leaves thousands of students in overwhelming debt.
According to collegeboard.com, the average cost for a private college in 2010 escalated 4.3 percent to nearly $37,000 including room and board. At several private schools, including the University of Miami, the tuition is almost $40,000 per year, not including housing. And of course, that’s not the end of the expenditures. You still have to live somewhere, eat, buy books and supplies, pay for cabs and more.
With increasing tuition fees and dwindling financial aid, several students are searching for ways to save and pay for college while others are looking for ways to get free textbooks and free tuition. Just how desperate are parents and students becoming?
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that an unknown parent in Boston posted an ad on Craigslist trying to sell his body parts for anything legal or medically experimental to pay for his child’s $200,000 in student loans.
Instead of having typical student jobs such as working on campus or at local restaurants, students are discovering odd ways to earn fast cash to pay for school. For example, some students are launching their own businesses. Others have gone as far as selling their sperm or eggs and seeking donors on the Internet to pay for their education.
With all this in mind, it is unfortunate that several students get accepted into prestigious, high-ranking schools and cannot afford to attend them. It is even worse that, due to high tuition costs, several students have convinced themselves that there is no way for them to fulfill their career dreams. How will they know if they can’t even pay for a post-secondary education?
Obviously, we don’t recommend doing something radical like becoming a phone sex operator (yes, that happens), but instead, make the extra effort to look at all the available opportunities readily accessible and don’t allow the cost of college to halt your goals for the future. Applying for scholarships isn’t the only option. Perhaps consider non-traditional routes such as serving the community with AmeriCorps and then being rewarded with a scholarship.
Take the initiative to fund your education. It won’t be easy, but you will benefit in the long run.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.