Breaking The Bank

Why is American college so expensive?

Emily Barnett, Reporter

As a senior of the Class of ’22, my near future feels like a stark difference compared to peers my age. When I walk among the hallways, my eyes are greeted by soft cotton and bright colors boasting different colleges nationwide. It’s even a trend to wear merchandise from prestigious schools like Harvard and Yale. I know most people are looking forward to living in dorms, rushing, and being off on their own.

I almost feel like an outsider going to free community college and living with my parents because I personally can not afford it. Despite my own choice, I have always wondered why college was so expensive in America. 

After doing some research, I have found that there are a lot of reasons why college is so expensive. There is a growing demand, a decline in financial aid, less state funding, and a huge cost of other amenities. According to The Atlantic, college tuition was a lot more affordable for older generations. Tuition for public colleges has quadrupled since 1980. 

Americans spend around $30,000 per student a year. One-third of developed countries have free college and another third keep tuition around $2,400 per year or less. Campuses in places such as Canada and Europe have fewer dormitories and dining halls than an American college would. Campus life is vastly different. However, the majority of college costs still go to educational operations such as staff salary. College teaching is a service and salaries have risen throughout the decades. 

State funding has continued to decrease and made colleges lose money. This action has made colleges function more like a business, aiming for out-of-state students and exchange students who pay increased costs.

American colleges are run very differently than other colleges. They are expensive to run and with less funding and increasing costs to run, student tuition has skyrocketed.