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The article in the New York Times by a law professor from the University of Colorado poses a range of views and concerns regarding the true condition and expense of college tuition fees. The goal of the post was to create a defined case about how a college tuition raise was achieved when government money had been cut. The article also explores how college fees have grown over time and how state funding cuts have allowed colleges to steadily lift the cost of college education in the United States. It is also worth noting that he also puts in an effort in trying to differentiate the public investment in today’s public universities and the days of the golden age in the 1960s. The paper will highlight the different aspects of the article and provide different argumentative points to be considered in response to the article by Professor Paul in the New York Times post.
Aspect of Discussion
In his account Paul argues that the costs of college education have increased due to the lack of funding by the state, which has larger implications. It is a notion that does not really take account of the real facts. The truth is that there are different complicated and interlocking reasons as to why the college fees have been increased by a large margin today, compared to the past. The huge budget cuts by the state have a contribution to this, but are not the single contributor to the current situation. The current situation suggests that the spending by the public on higher education has been rising over the years. But so are the numbers of the Americans that are attending colleges across different states. In fact, what the school administrators mean when they say that the state support on college funding has been shrinking, what they mean is that the amount of each student appropriation has been reducing. It is a very crucial and integral point to this argument as it gives another whole point of view from the current single state view. It has meant that someone has to pay the fees for a single student’s education. The situation continues to be dire since there has also been increase in inflation, which means that the appropriations for each of the students will be higher, and hence the government funding will continue to be lower and lower each year. It is a big fact that cannot be denied and is one of the reasons that the professor needed to check his facts and also authenticate the real truth behind the continued increase in college fee.
Campos however was right in his argument to some extent. He addresses the situation where in some cases when the state increased their funding for each student, the public colleges would still raise their tuition fees faster than the inflation (Campos). And when the college administration increases their college fees due to budget cuts by the state, they don’t reduce them when the state funding is restored. It raises a question of where the money goes and how it is used to actually support the students. Campos seems to also be right on the mark when he suggests that most of the money is spent on the college administration. So what this means is that colleges have become increasingly thrifty on the school administration while taking those costs back to the students pockets. It is a trend that leaves many questions unanswered as to why the administration would allow for this to happen without consideration of the situation of the students. This does not change the fact that the government is also to blame when it comes to the increment in the college fees over the years. The state has also played a hand in contributing to the problem as Campos suggests. On the other hand, university profligacy is also a factor to consider when looking in to the drivers of tuition increment. Others like contracted state support has also played a significant part in the increase in costs of college fees. It has especially been this way due to the post-recession, which accounted to the budget austerity. Depending on current calculations that have been done, the state is said to be giving up to 25 to 30 in fewer percentage amount of dollars than it was more than 15 years ago. It has made a significant decrease in the funding for college fees.
One of the points that Campos gave in relation to increase in college cost is the military base comparison (Campos). This reason clearly is an obscure and baseless fact and does not reveal any truth. The worry is usually on per-student funding since it is usually compared to per-student pay in tuition fees. The service members are not subjected to pay for any tuition fees, even though a reduction in their salaries would not be welcomed. It their salaries were to be cut, the public would not be too happy and would claim that the pentagon is reducing the service members’ compensation. It is therefore a big worry when the level of student subsidies reduces, even when the country’s spending on higher education continues to increase. Campos also fails in his arguments since he looks at the military comparison in a whole different manner that is not accurate. If at any given time the military would want to use less costs by employing fewer service men then it has the ability to do just that and not worry. Same cannot be said for the Universities as they cannot be able to reduce the number of professors and lecturers without reducing the quality of education. It is clear to say that there needs to be something done in the way that college fee has increased over the years. It is important to ensure there is a standard to how much the students pay for their tuition even with the reduced government funding to support them.
As a college lecturer and member of faculty, Campos also outlines the nature of colleges and how much they have to pay in order to provide an education to the students (Campos). It is seen as another reason as to why the college fees have been done in an effort to actually make sure that the students get the quality of students that they deserve. But there has to be a question raised as to whether this is the real reason why colleges increase their college fees. Does that mean that the students have to continue paying more tuition fees to ensure that they get quality education? It is a question that has a lot of undefined factors and clearly not in any way justifying the exorbitant increases in college student tuition fee. At times the answer is very simple, due to the reduced state funding the colleges have to find some funding from somewhere else and there is no where better than the pockets of students who are left bearing the costs of the lack of government spending. There are other areas of funding that have to be discovered to ensure that students do not have to suffer when the price of higher education is increased. Resource allocation is the way to go if there is to be a reduction in the cost of college education. It is very necessary to have the case of college education fees addressed before more students choose to bypass their enrollment in to college due to increased costs.
Even though most of the insights by Campos were not dominated by correct assumptions, he still had a few strong points on the matter at hand. His argument on the government funding decrease being a major contributor to the problem was correct, even though it is not the major cause of the problem. Other factors as discussed in the paper seem to also carry the weight in being the reason as to why college fees have continued to increase over the years. Calculations have shown that the amount in percentage dollars in which each student has to pay for tuition has increased to a range of 25 to 30 percent. The government needs to take an initiative of taking control of the colleges and universities to regulate the amount of college fees they need per student.
"The New York Times Offers One Of The Worst Explanations You’Ll Read Of Why College Is So Expensive". Slate Magazine.N.p., 2017.
Campos, Paul. "Opinion | The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much". Nytimes.com. N.p., 2017.
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