College Tuition Still Remains a Bargain

Archive by Erudera News Dec 11, 2006


by Jake B. Schrum
Jake B. Schrum is president of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tex., Southwestern University

By Jake B. Schrum, President, Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas

Much has been said in the media lately about the cost of college tuition. But this cost needs to be put in perspective.

Try to put your 17-year-old up in an Embassy Suites hotel or any other moderately priced hotel for 240 nights a year – the length of an average year in college.  You would pay about $24,000 for the year, and all you would get is a room, linen and maid service, and maybe a free continental breakfast. And even if you went to a budget motel, you’d still spend nearly $15,000. 

What else would your son or daughter get for the hard-earned $24,000 you spent on a 240-day hotel stay?  In a word, nothing.  No senior professors or even graduate students to teach them.  No science labs or libraries.  No music instructors.   No technology centers.  No tutoring or other help when they can’t figure out calculus, write a coherent sentence, or parse a differential equation.  No help with finding a job or career placement and training.  No coaches, athletic trainers, or lush green recreational fields.    

Then consider buying all of these things separately on top of the cost of your Embassy Suites room with continental breakfast, and you may begin to appreciate that a college education is quite a deal.

As you consider this proposition, think about what students, families, politicians, and the public demand of colleges and universities.  They insist that senior professors teach undergraduates, and get upset when lower-paid graduate students are responsible for teaching.  They want classes to be small, so students can get lots of personal attention from the senior professors they demand spend more time in classroom. And they want campuses to have state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. In other words, they desire – and insist on – the very things that make a college education more expensive, while at the same time complaining bitterly that it costs too much.

For a four-year investment of between $24,000 and $52,000 – depending on whether they attend a public or private university – students with a college education will earn more than $1 million more over their lifetimes than their friends who did not understand the value of higher education.

The numbers are worth considering carefully.

Related News

people in Zurich, Switzerland

Is Switzerland becoming the new higher education hub for international students? Although the country may still need to become one of the top ten host destinations for international students, official data show that it has been appealing to an increasing number of students over the last few years.


Apr 19, 2024

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has received more than 105,000 applications for this fall, a new record high. This surge highlights the growing interest among prospective first-year and transfer students in attending the university for the fall 2024 term.

United States

Apr 18, 2024

University of Miami

The University of Miami is the latest institution to offer a course on the work of the American singer and songwriter Taylor Swift, named “Mastermind Taylor Swift Brand.”

United States

Apr 17, 2024