This is the cost of attending UCSD for fall quarter of 2013. That is about $14661.87 more per year than what it cost to attend the University of California in 1956, or a 17554.6% increase.
Last school year, I attempted to find out where exactly the money being paid for tuition goes, and it took me nearly two weeks of searching, talking to administrators, before I finally found it somewhat deeply embedded inside a link on Google. I couldn’t even get a breakdown of where tuition goes.
Searching for a Breakdown of Tuition
It’s much more difficult than expected to obtain such a breakdown. I thought I would be able to find it online, but it was nowhere to be found. The next logical assumption would that I would be able to find out simply by walking into the registrars office and asking the secretary. When I walked in, it was quite alarming when I found out that most of the administration didn’t even know where our money was exactly going or even where to get the information.
Not only does this illustrate the weakness and frailty of a centralized, bureaucratic system, it also illustrates that students have been brainwashed to pay money into a black box without questioning where it goes. I was probably one of very few people to ever make such a request to the secretary at the registrars office that he gave me a funny look.
Second, the fact that no one was able to provide justification for charging me $4915.29 for tuition makes me question if the money is even used efficiently. There’s probably a higher chance than not that if administrators did release this information, students would be unhappy with how much superfluous money is being spent.
So my next step was attempting to talk to someone higher up in administration authority to find out. Unfortunately, I had no idea who to contact or where to start, so I turned to the “Uncollege Network” on Facebook for help.
The responses were overwhelming. The most helpful comment by far was a comment telling me to look on IPEDS. After a quick search, I found the breakdown I was looking for. It’s available for all schools online, but here is a quick taste of what I found for UCSD.
Looking through this information, I realized a couple of things. I first realized that the core revenues added up to be about $400 million more than core expenses, meaning there is about $400 million going unrecorded.
Out of 30,070 students, 53% take some sort of a loan averaging $5003. That’s nearly $80 million dollars in loans just for UCSD students in the year of 2011.
The College Education Bubble is Bursting
Chase recently announced that beginning in October, they will no longer be issuing new student loans.
This is extremely significant, because student loan debt is, not surprisingly, over $1 trillion. Banks are realizing that the money being lent for student loans are not being paid off, so it makes little sense for banks to give out money they won’t get back.
The value of a degree has diminished while the cost of it has skyrocketed.
But something deep inside our culture and our perceived value of a degree is keeping us from letting go of it. The irony lies in the fact that most people admit that college does an inadequate job of preparing for the real world, but people still need a degree to get their “foot in the door”.
The reason why companies and culture still see a degree as valuable isn’t because it means that a person is prepared for work, it’s because they have no idea how to compare people otherwise.
College education is in real need of a revolution.