College costs cruel
College is pricey enough. As a high school senior preparing to head to university this fall, I have been adding up figures to discover how much my “essential” college education is going to cost me. My answer: too much.
Sure, I’ve received scholarships, but the number of full-tuition awards is steadily dropping, a fact that has hit remarkably close to home. There are a record number of students applying for only a small number of coveted positions, and universities are giving out less and less money to preserve their own struggling budgets.
Adding insult to injury, Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington state Legislature have proposed eliminating the current restrictions enforced on state universities to keep tuition costs low. Instead, these government-funded colleges would have the freedom to set their own tuition; several have plans to raise it as much as 17 percent.
The Legislature believes this freedom will keep our universities competitive with other state-run schools around the country and lower the budget deficits of the state. To be fair, it’s a commendable goal. But it comes at the expense of college students and their parents, who expect one price and will pay another. It is nothing short of cruel.