Monday, December 29, 2008

The Cost of College

In The Coming Storm from Practical Theory, Chris Lehmann talks about the high cost of college and says, “I don't know where this ends, honestly. I don't know why we've seen the kind of rise in college tuition that is so out of proportion to the rest of the economics of our country. I don't know how we continue to hold college out as the gatekeeper to a middle-class adulthood, and I don't know how it could be when a generation of kids start their life hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt -- and that's assuming that they can still get the loans.”

This may be a little bit of a rant and I’m sorry but this had me thinking about college and professional sports. I think sports are great for kids to learn competition and team work. I feel it is a great way to be fit and some students have great talent for it. So, don’t think that what I’m about to say is a slam against sports. My problem is the amount of money that college coaches and professional athletes get paid. It is totally absurd and I think that as long as people keep paying money to see these sports, the salaries will continue to be paid. If colleges took some of the money paid in coaches salaries and put it toward college expenses, college would be affordable to most students. Why in the world do we (as in society) pay such outrageous salaries to these people? Why do professional athletes need millions of dollars to play a sport? I really think our priorities are way out of whack! Why do we put more emphasis on sports than academics? Will these high paid athletes bail out the banks and the auto industry? Will they give some of their money to support colleges so the tuition can stay low? No.

Then on top of it all, our state finally instituted a state lottery to help fund education. That is a total crock! Apparently a lot of the money goes to colleges and then the colleges turn right around and increase tuition, so how does this money help our students? I keep hearing that the costs of an education is more, so they have to raise tuition. That would be reasonable until we find out that they are paying the football coach thousands of dollars years after they fired him as part of the contract agreement they had when they hired him. When will people say we have had enough?

I agree with Chris that I don’t know what the answer is, but it is time to say enough is enough. I will not buy any souvenirs for professional sports and I can’t tell you when I have gone to see any in person. If enough people stop supporting them, maybe we could bring them back in line. I just know that I’ve had enough and when sports becomes more important than an education, I draw the line.

Original image: 'College Football'


Anonymous said...

yep - I've spent my break soul-searching and have concluded that the things that most matter: (eternally, in posterity, whatever you want to term it) childcare & education are the ones whose providers are valued least. Is it wrong to expect to compensation to be commensurate with the increasing financial outlays required to renew licenses? What are we going to do when the entry-teacher requirement is Master's degree and the pay isn't enough for these young 20-somethings to pay their student loans and move to a place of their own and possibly buy a lil economy car to get to work? These are not unreasonable expectations for a young professional. Will college then be only for those who are children of or aspire to be high-paid professionals such as pro athletes, all varieties of computer/internet geniuses and possibly still physicians? (Goodness, I thought that the worst thing that could happen to a generation was no Social Security/retirement plan existing when we got old enough to retire. Not being able to go to college to start a good career certainly beats that.
Wow, you touched a nerve with me - I've changed what I was going to say several times and I'm still this long-winded. I apologize for being a comment-hog!

loonyhiker said...

Margaret: Thanks for your comment! It is nice to know that I'm not the only one to feel this way!