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Cole: Breaking down the pricetag for a college education



As if the dismal state of student loans wasn’t foreboding enough, the figures for next year’s tuition are out. No surprise, the cost for a college education went up.

According to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship’s@@http://financialaid.uoregon.edu/@@ website, an Oregon resident will be paying roughly $20,568 if they are living in the dorms and $19,809@@http://financialaid.uoregon.edu/[email protected]@ if they plan to live off-campus. These numbers are broken down by cost of tuition for 15 credits per term for three terms, rough estimated cost of books, and a standard double dorm room and standard meal plan or an apartment with an average rent rate plus utilities and groceries.

But that’s just the in-state kids. Out of staters: Prepare to sell your valuables on eBay. An out-of-state/international student will be paying roughly $39,963 for living in the dorms and $39,204@@http://financialaid.uoregon.edu/[email protected]@ if living off campus. These numbers posted by the Office of Financial Aid are only the floor of what students can expect to be paying.

Compared to last year, tuition took a $945 increase.@@[email protected]@ In percentage talk, that’s about a 4.3 percent increase. What’s changed? According to Brad Shelton, the Vice Provost for Budget and Planning,@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ the increase is due to a number of reasons.

The University is expected to grow in all aspects: faculty, student body and infrastructure. There has been an inevitable increase in the cost of utilities, as well as health insurance and retirement. However, they are also slimming down in one department: state funding.

The tuition students pay is channeled into every living, breathing thing. From the grass shavings on the sidewalk to the meal points stored in student IDs, Ducks’ money is hard at work. One positive note about the dividing out of tuition is that 10 percent of the money goes toward financial aid. You could look at it as everyone helping everyone go to school.

The price of a college education has everyone grumbling, but the voices of out-of-state students grumble louder than those hailing from Oregon. When it comes to money, no amount of words can tell the tale that numbers shout out to the heavens. I’m no mathematician, and I haven’t even taken a math class since high school, but I don’t need a major in the subject to see the $19,000 wedge between Oregonians and non-Oregonians.

Being out-of-state myself, I grumble with those non-Oregonians. Why should I have to pay 19 grand more than the other guy? I mean, I know it is great to be from Oregon, but do they need to rub it in our faces? Out of curiosity, I asked Mr. Shelton why there was a gap in between the two groups. (I’ll admit it was more to satisfy my curiosity more than my journalistic obligation to inform the public.)

He said that in-state students have a little help from the state to pay for college. Out-of-state students (obviously) lack this privilege. They must pay the full cost of attending the University and then some.

I’ll let you know, this is the conclusion. Students will need to dig deeper into their pockets, fill out that second student loan app and possibly sell a body part or two on the black market just to pay for a college level education.

However, I will not be giving some philosophical point of whether or not college is worth it any more as mentioned in an article on the opinion page (I couldn’t remember whether it was an editorial or column), nor will I make some cliche about the man or Corporate America bringing us down.

I will simply bestow onto you the wise words of Kevin Fisher (if you know of him, don’t judge): You need money, I need money, all of God’s children need money.


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