University of Miami is rumored to be “a place only where rich kids from the north go to party,” according to abundant reviews on College Prowler. When my average stroll to class entails witnessing fellow students cruising around in brand new Porsches, BMWs and state-of-the-art sports cars, I’d be lying if I said a little tinge of envy wasn’t surfacing.
Students pay about $52,000 a year on merely tuition fees plus room and board – not inclusive of general living expenses – and there definitely is a lot of daddy’s money floating around.
My first experience with high prices at UM came when I had to purchase textbooks. In England, students head to the library, where textbooks are abundant. All the books you need for your courses are there, provided they haven’t been renewed.
I don’t know anyone from my home college who genuinely bought books for a course. But in American universities, paying $200 for just one textbook is the norm. If you are taking 15 credits, that makes the total within the range of $1,000.
As an exchange student, I find this a little absurd, or to be frank, absolutely ridiculous. With such high tuition fees, more money should be spent on stocking the library adequately. A new building can wait.
But it isn’t just university expenses that are surprising. Living expenses are high as well. Miami Beach sells bottled water for more than $3, and South Beach clubbing doesn’t come cheap.
Statistics from the Huffington Post rank Miami among the “Top Ten Most Expensive Cities in America.” Thus, it is little wonder that Miami-Dade County ranks 16th among the poorest, large counties, and that Miami itself has the highest poverty rate for a city of its size in the U.S.
UM students, however, are attempting to combat poverty with an array of volunteer organizations – S.T.E.P. and Kids and Culture, to name a few.
I can’t say I’ve had it too rough, though. If you’re a girl, then you’re definitely in luck. Men here are very willing to pay for girls. I haven’t paid for one drink, one cab ride, a club night or even a pizza slice since being here at UM, and believe me, there have been a few of each.
Layla Haidrani is a senior majoring in history.