Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

Economics of Education

By Megan Lamb

 

Student worries are no longer

merely about getting into college, but

how to pay for it once accepted. State

officials have said that Florida’s public

college and university students

should expect a 15 percent tuition

increase every year until it

reaches the national average,

which is $6,966 to attend public

two-year colleges. The cost to

attend HCC is $2,347 for instate

students, which means it

could take more than 10 years

before tuition stops increasing.

“Families are paying about

$172 to $1,096 more in tuition and fees

this school year. The national average for

2009-2010 is about $7,020, not including

room and board,” said the College

Board’s Trends in College Pricing of 2009.

For students like Heath Crouch, a

second-year education major who has

to pay for college himself, hearing this

kind of news could not come at a worse

time. Crouch holds three jobs and still

worries about how he is going

to be able to pay for all the

expenses that college provides.

“I’m doing three times

the work and only making

the amount of holding one

steady job,” Crouch said.

“It’s going to be really hard

to pay it [all the loans] back.”

For some it may seem that college is

becoming a luxury that only a select few

students throughout the United States are

able to afford. High school teachers are

better preparing their students for

college, but it is the rising costs of

tuition over the last decade that is

stopping students from applying.

“With all the ways the

state says they can help me pay

for college, it still isn’t enough,”

Crouch said. “The more they

[Florida] raise the tuition, the

more I have to take out in loans,

which in the end isn’t benefiting

me the way they said it would.”

Florida has always been known for

having low tuition rates. However, with this

new plan of raising tuition by 15 percent

every year, that may no longer be the

case, leaving many students like Crouch

feeling that they are at school only to work.

Students feel that HCC is doing

the best it can to keep tuition rates as

reasonable as possible for them, but

the rate increase is necessary

to cover the costs of teacher

salaries and other education

resources. According to College

Board’s Trends in College

Pricing of 2009, while these

increases may be necessary, they

also have the effect of limiting

access to a college education.

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