Sunday Discussion: Cost of College


Today I read a story about Santa Monica College starting a new cost system.  The most popular classes will now cost five times the current cost to attend.  Keep in mind the current costs for each class is $108 each.  Some of the most sought classes will now cost around $600 each.  Here is the link and video about this story.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/santa-monica-college_n_1353988.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000031

I do think this is unfair.  What are the people who have less money going to do?  Tuition at many colleges has been going up year after year after year.  And soon it’s going to get to the point where colleges will be too expensive except for the rich.  And that will help further downgrade the education in America compared to the rest of the world.  Plus there is a new dark horse.  The total debt in student loans is now over a trillion dollars.  That is more than all the credit card debt combined.  How long could it be before the student loan bubble bursts?  If it does; we will plunge into another recession.

Plus it could get worse.  The interest rates for Stafford student loans could double to 6.8% by this summer if Congress does not act.  If this happens it will put on additional costs for young people who are graduating college without a job.  And for those people who have a job that is low pay.  How can you afford to pay the extra cost?  I am afraid things are going to get a lot uglier very soon for people under 30.  25 million adults live at home with their parents.  And believe me; they will be back out protesting as we get closer to the elections in November.

Now the question is what can the colleges and universities do to help lower the costs of tuition?  The biggest thing they could do is to look at the majors they are offering.  Some majors today will lead people nowhere.  Expect maybe a fast food job.  Schools need to trim back some useless majors and expand on majors that are high in demand and can pay people great salaries.  All of this leads to the second point.  Schools need to look at all of their employees and determine what could be cut out.  This also applies to the amenities as well.

We also need to look at our public schools.  Some students have to take extra classes because they are behind.  This adds extra debt to the students but it also adds costs to the schools as well.  Why are public schools in Alabama not getting kids ready for college.  That’s right; because Alabama has very low taxes.  Plus our society puts pressure on everyone that you need to go to college or you will not succeed.  There are plenty of jobs with good pay that requires little training.  This could help reduce the student loan debt drastically.

But there is one other thing that could be looked at.  This probably will make some people angry.  Why are colleges spending so much money on sports?  College should not be all about sports as some people think.  It really should be about education.  How much money would be saved if all college sports were eliminated.  Think about it; no more Alabama or Auburn college football; March madness; or bowl games.  Colleges spend millions of dollars a year on sports programs and maintaining facilities.  So colleges would save tons of money if they did not have to worry about college sports.  Colleges need to be about education and not about sports.

Something needs to be done to stop the higher costs of education.  Or America is going to lose its advantage in the world.  Here are tips from Dave Ramsey about how to pay for college.

Coosa Fest 2012 in Childersburg, AL


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This was a very busy weekend!  One of the events I went too was Coosa Fest in Childersburg, AL.  This festival involves a 5K run, breakfast, live music, various vendors, kids area, and lots more.  This is now the beginning of festival season across the south east.  So there will be many more outdoor festivals to cover.  Enjoy the photos below!

The kids area had a petting zoo, moonwalks, bounce houses, and these new things involving putting kids inside a plastic ball and letting them play in a pool.  I have not seen this before.

Boy was it hot out there!  It was in the mid 80’s and that is very unusual for mid-March.  So I went to get a shake from McDonald’s.  Sadly the Shamrock flavor was out.  Yummy!