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Why Is College So Expensive?

student challenge

Any student who has considered entering higher education is aware of just how expensive it can be. With all the considerations of semester fees, books costs and housing and living costs, the overall figure for attaining a degree can start to become completely massive. If you are currently in the deciding process and want to know exactly what makes up the cost of a college education, here are some simple explanations.

Academic Arms Race

It is the opinion of many experts that tuition fees are forever rising due to the academic arms race that gets paid for by student's semester fees. At the rate goes up, so the colleges must continue to raise their tuitions costs to keep up with their academic competitors.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is provided to students who are not able to afford the college tuition fees themselves so instead apply for help from the government. The Academic Arms Race funds the federal financial aid programs for students.


The bottom line of the problem is that colleges simply have to make lots of money so that they can afford to hire the best professors and pay all of their staff. As inflation rises, the easiest thing for colleges to do is raise the tuition prices to accommodate it. Inflation will always cause college fees to rise which is an unfortunate reality for future students.

More Students

Lots of colleges and universities across the world partially operate on government funding, therefore the more students that attend a college, the less amount there is to allocate per head. More people go to college now than ever before, which means that student body numbers are higher and institutions are beginning to charge more in order to boost their resources.

Degree Courses Are Longer

Because the cost of college is so high now, many students are forced to split their degree and studytime in to lots of shorter periods rather than dedicating a full stretch to it. The longer it takes to complete your degree, the more the overall cost is likely to be because you are prolonging your time spent in college and raisign the cost of graduation.

Increased Cost of Living

Just like in all other financial areas of life, the cost of living is going up and up every single year. Even some college students are paying more to stay in dorms than non-students pay in rent. Off campus housing can also be very expensive with landlords taking advantage, and add to that the rising price of food and other essentials, the budget begins to be more and more stretched.

Lack of Enough Financial Aid

Just as the amount of funding per head is limited as a student body increases, with more and more people from all backgrounds applying for college, the pool of financial aid becomes thinner and thinner to spread across all of the applicants. The more students that apply for financial aid, the less there is to spread out between them.

It is true that the cost of college can be incredibly daunting, but there are many ways to make it work like getting a part time job, considering doing a work/study program. Living with a large group of students can also be helpful, as you are able to spread out the rent and other living costs much more widely through the group.

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