Being a current college student, I am very acutely aware of the pains of financial aid issues that comes with a college degree. Not only that, but it seems these days that you are bread from your first day of kindergarten that you have to do good in elementary school so you do good in middle school so you do good in high school so that you can go to a good college and get a good job. However it really isn’t that easy, nor does it really even work that way. I won’t get into the fact that college degree does not equal job, that is an equation for another time. I did start crunching the numbers on my “majestic” college journey, however. First off we will start with story time.
Picture it, young 17/18 year old Alex sitting in her bedroom in Huntington Beach with big dreams. “Making movies,” she thinks, “I like that shit.” But how? Well what a better way to figure out than consoling the internet. And there we have it… the college of her dreams appears, Chapman University.
“Of course a beautiful private school looks like fun, but upon graduation oh that debt you will be in when you are done,” advised her mother. So off to community college she went to go knock out her GE classes for two years. Here’s where you’re probably saying, wait Alex, you are at CSUMB now? What happened to that lush private school? What happened to your dreams? Reality, dear children. Reality hit. Tuition at Chapman is $20,520/ semester, while tuition at CSUMB is currently $2,980/ semester*. Meaning by going to OCC for two years, I saved approximately** $82,080. In addition, I saved about $70,160 by then transferring to a Cal State instead of a private school (I’m not singling out Chapman at all in this, it’s an amazing school, and I am aware that it does provide some financial aid to all students). Meaning all together I saved wait for it…. approximately
Why is this relevant? Well recently Harvard University announced that there would be no tuition for students who’s parents make less than 60k a year. This is a recent trend in the big Ivy League schools in effort to provide a better opportunity to all students, and I think its wonderful. Personally, I have always thought that it was weird how expensive colleges were when it is supposed to be about bettering your education and we think that is so important. So frequently now, it’s all about bettering your pay at your jobs. And if you can’t afford to go to a good college, well then you are stuck at a low income job. Not to mention that dreams of being an artist like me means lots of non-paying work, so back to the low income jobs I go come December to pay off the twelve grand of debt I still gathered. So it seems to me that asking for help like this doesn’t seem to radical.
What do you think? Am I whining too much? Not enough? Should more schools, private or not, follow suite? Comment below guys!
*None of these numbers include housing/living expenses, though I was fortunate enough to have family members take me in throughout college
** these are the current tuition numbers, they have fluctuated the past two years.