The college cost has drastically increased over the years than the overall inflation rate in the past century. Due to the rising cost, there have been public discussions on what is causing the increment. Most people are blaming the economy on the rise in the price of education and that of other essential services. The high cost of a college education does not augur well with most Americans, especially the low-income earners who make a large population of the country. As such, it is evident that they may not afford the education in the future, a situation that may deny them the chance of a better life since the market demand for people with higher education is soaring. Therefore, to understand why the cost of college tuition is rising, it is imperative to discuss various factors that have contributed to the increment.
The federal government offers the student financial aid, which the colleges are taking advantage of; hence, they increase the fee. In fact, the aid has been blamed for the rise in the cost of education since it is assumed that the more the student can borrow, the more the colleges are likely to charge. Over the decades, the United States government has increased the student loans drastically, thus enabling them to borrow more. The college administrators are aware that the financial aid will cover the increased fee. However, people argue that if there were no financial assistance, the cost of tuition would not have increased in the first place. Thus, the government monetary support for the student would not be essential (Campos, 2015). Although there are people who argue that the cost of college increases due to wealthier students who do not take up loans and they afford to pay for their education, the increased cost of education can still be tied to the availability of student loans.
Withdrawal of Government Support
The federal government slashed the funding for the colleges, thus triggering an astonishing increase in the college fee to cater for the discrepancy. Due to the struggling economy during and after the recession, the government decided to reduce its spending; this led to the reduction of the funds that channeled to the public institutions of higher learning. As a result, this meant that the students would have to dig deeper into their pockets to cater for the deficit left out by the government (Archibald & Feldman, 2011). There was also a decline in philanthropic activities and endowments, thus transferring the cost burden to the student. However, even after the recovery of the economy, the states, and the federal government’s spending on the mandatory and recurring expenditure have made it hard to increase support or funding to the public institutions thus causing the fee to keep rising (Campos, 2015). Therefore, the economy of the United States is largely to blame for the soaring costs of higher education, especially after the recession when the government reduced its funding to learning institutions.
The colleges have increased the fees to cater for the salaries of the faculty members. The money paid does not go to the lecturers or the professors; much of it is allocated to the increasing administrative positions. The augmented number of managerial posts has been attributed to the high number of students who are enrolling in these institutions, although the move does not justify the high-salaried university officials who take home huge remunerations that instigate a rise in university fee. In addition, institutions have created redundant positions, which in turn have led to the increase in the fee charged to the students (Finely, 2013). Therefore, an increase in the number of staff members and the recurrent college expenditure is one of the factors that have contributed to the rise in college fee.
Demand for Higher Education
It is obvious that the increase in demand for education triggers the prices to go up. In this case, the high demand for the education has increased the tuition fee. In fact, more people have realized the value of having a higher education, which is now highly demanded by the labor market (Archibald & Feldman, 2011). As a result, the colleges are aggressive in their pricing as high numbers of students compete for fewer vacancies in the learning institutions. On the other hand, some of the institutions are turning away students who are unable to pay the high fee and admitting only those learners who can afford the high cost of education. Indeed, the colleges are using the same law of demand and supply as a rationale for increasing their tuition fee (Finely, 2013). Therefore, it is evident that the demand for higher education has set precedent for fees increase in all learning institutions.
From the discussion, it is palpable that the cost of college fee has increased over the last century. There have been some factors that have been attributed to this increment. Firstly, the government reduced its financial support for the institutions, thus transferring the burden to the students. Secondly, the subsidies by the government in the form of loans have encouraged colleges to take advantage of this move by increasing their fees, since they expect that students will afford. Thirdly, the increase in college staff members has significantly increased expenses, especially the wages and other benefits, a situation that has a direct impact on the fees charged. Lastly, the demand for higher education has increased; hence, the mismatch between the demand and supply where more people are willing to join higher learning while opportunities might be limited. In this case, the institutions increase the cost to due to the soaring demand for college education.