For boomers and many other of the older generations, college tuition is similar to a walk in the park.   But it’s similar for the younger generations, except everything is on fire, because it’s hell. For instance, in the mid 1950s, tuition was affordable, even for the lower middle class.  The University of Chicago cost around $850 per year ($7000 adjusted to inflation), and it was the most expensive school at the time. Now, average tuition is $59,000 per year, with the current most expensive school being Harvey Mudd college, at a whopping $70,000 a year.  So what happened? 

Back in the day, most people didn’t go to college, and those who usually worked it off as they went along.  As the years passed, more and more people started going to college. In 1970, approximately 8.5 million went to college, where in 1990 it rocketed up to a staggering 13.8 million.  To keep up with the sudden increase in people going to college, schools started increasing the price to keep up with demand, but it wasn’t anything to extraordinary until about the late 1980s when these prices seemed to skyrocket, and it was starting to cost more to attend schools than it was for the average cost of living.  But the real culprit, was when the government was facing really big budget deficits.  Politicians panicked to put as much of this money as they could towards education, but they couldn’t keep up with it, so to compensate the colleges raise tuition for the mass flow of students into their schools. Which is the reason why college is now through the roof expensive.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 College can cost an arm and a leg, but it wasn’t always like this. What happened? by Charlie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Comments
  1. Ellie 15 hours ago

    Charlie!
    I found your article really interesting because college tuition is affecting all students at Judge currently. Not only does it make students hesitate from pursuing higher education, it often limits students and their families from having a standard quality of life. Although some may argue that there are financial aid opportunities out there, it is extremely difficult to get substantial help for college education.
    I admire your creativity in the metaphor of “But it’s similar for the younger generations, except everything is on fire, because it’s hell.” It puts everything in perspective and easier to understand for people who are not familiar with the college tuition situation right now.
    One article that might help you expand your argument is
    https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/what-you-need-to-know-about-college-tuition-costs
    Good job on your essay!

  2. Abbey 15 hours ago

    Charlie this is a great paper!! I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about this topic that definitely concerns us as we are beginning our journey towards being college students and the problem that is looming over our heads is student debt because education costs so much money. I hope that you continue to research and write about this topic I would love to read what you have to say.

  3. Roman 16 hours ago

    Great paper Charlie! It’s messed up how expensive it is for people to now go to college. I hope this trend changes and college can be affordable for many people again, though it shouldn’t outright be free.

  4. Alicia 18 hours ago

    Hey Charlie, I really enjoyed reading what you had to say. Just the other day my teacher and I were talking about how the price of college has changed drastically even since they were in college. The price is way too high and this leads students to live their life trying to pay off student debt. I fear that the attendance rate of college will begin to drop again. I think this is something that needs to be addressed more! Great job on your article!

  5. Emily 18 hours ago

    Your post is very interesting. I strongly agree with you; college is far too expensive. If you want to delve further into this topic maybe consider looking at this article: chttps://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-college-so-expensive-2018-4 . I think it would also be interesting if you wrote about possible solutions to this problem.

  6. Angela Wang 22 hours ago

    Dear Charlie,

    I agree with your post “College can cost an arm and a leg, but it wasn’t always like this. What happened?” because the cost of attending college is extremely expensive. And although more people are going to college, it’s generally because more and more people are expected to based on our modern society. In addition, families are making more in the recent decades, so they can provide financial help for their children.

    The sentence that stands out to me is the same as the sentence that stood out to Cooper. “One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “The University of Chicago cost around $850 per year ($7000 adjusted to inflation), and it was the most expensive school at the time. Now, average tuition is $59,000 per year, with the current most expensive school being Harvey Mudd college, at a whopping $70,000 a year.” The idea that the tuition cost for college can skyrocket to that extent scares me. Imagine decades from now, imagine how crazy the tuition could be for our kids and grandchildren. In history, many events occur repeatedly. If we apply what happened in the past to the future, the tuition for future generations could be over $100,000

    Have you seen this article https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/23/as-us-college-costs-soar-some-students-find-bargains-overseas.html This article provides another side of this issue: the amount of people going to U.S. colleges may decrease within years and resorting to overseas colleges. This might help with the end of increasing college costs; however, it may not be very good for our economy.

    I enjoyed reading your piece, and I hope to see more writing from you. This topic is very relevant to our generation, and I feel that something should be done to help people go to college without the extreme college debt. I liked how you provided the statistics about the University of Chicago.

  7. Cooper 23 hours ago

    Dear Charlie

    I agree with your post “College can cost an arm and a leg, but it wasn’t always like this. What happened?” because it cost so much more money than what it used to. It can be scary how much more it cost a year in order to go to school. Without help of loans and benefactors, only a small number of people would be able to attend college at the moment.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “The University of Chicago cost around $850 per year ($7000 adjusted to inflation), and it was the most expensive school at the time. Now, average tuition is $59,000 per year, with the current most expensive school being Harvey Mudd college, at a whopping $70,000 a year.” I think this is scary because people now have so much debt that they can’t buy themselves a good house or car when they get out of school because they have to pay of their debt.

    Another sentence that I liked was: “But it’s similar for the younger generations, except everything is on fire, because it’s hell.” This stood out for me because It shows that people are angry with how much tuition cost now and it can cause problems in society.

    Have you seen this article https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/student-debt-has-increased-almost-61-billion-since-end-of-2017-survey-shows/2019/05/05/cf923122-6f90-11e9-8be0-ca575670e91c_story.html I thought you might be interested in this because it shows that not only does it cause a problem with money, it also can affect people’s mental health. This article shows that people are likely to commit suicide in order to escape the debt they they get into over loans for college.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I enjoyed the amount of research you showed in the post. I think that it was nice to see so many statistics on a topic, and it really helped provided a point in the article.

  8. Kaya 1 day ago

    Hey Charlie! I really like what you have said. I believe that college should be free and affordable for everyone. It is not fair that people can not go to college because they can not afford it. Even when you get financial aid for college, the prices are still extremely high. Making college free would help with college debt as well. I found a source that shares the pros and cons of making college free. I hope it will help you if you want to continue your research!
    https://www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005432

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