By AMANDA GHANNAM, Staff Writer
It’s no secret that college is expensive. According to American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization, there is somewhere between 902 billion dollars and one trillion dollars in total outstanding student debt today, and around 60 percent of college students borrow money annually to pay for their tuition and books. Closer to home, the average student debt in Michigan after graduating from a four-year institution is $28,840. Despite the fact that secondary education is becoming too expensive for many to pursue, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has been steadily increasing its tuition fees over the past several years. Most recently, for the 2013-2014 academic year, undergraduate in-state tuition has increased by 3.5 percent—this translates to about $186 more for the average student. A University of Michigan-Dearborn education now costs $405 per credit hour for hours 1-12, and $85 each for additional hours—compare that to 2008 tuition rates of $298.55 for hours 1-12, and %63.25 for 13 or more. We asked UM-Dearborn students how they feel about these seemingly endless tuition increases.
“I think it’s great they increase our tuition, because I like spending money,” said Mohamad Farhat, lover of lemonade and junior in the engineering department. Farhat immediately clarified that he was, in fact, kidding, and does not appreciate the tuition increase.
Feras al-Hourani, a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering, commented: “The longer we are in school, the closer we are to graduating. Along with everyone else, I don’t like how it’s increasing but I think it’s just something I’m going to have to put up with.” With only a few semesters left, al-Hourani, like many others, is resigned to the fact that education simply isn’t cheap
“I think that increasing tuition is going to have a negative effect on the school and education system,” said Safa Kassab. “More and more people are not going to be able to afford coming to school.” Kassab is a junior and an Economics major at UM-Dearborn.
Agreeing with Safa on the economic aspect of tuition increases, Michelle Hattar commented: “Like they say, you have to spend money to make money. But do we really have to spend more and more money each year to achieve our goals? Continuously increasing tuition makes it harder for some to continue going to school, which is unfair, seeing that everyone is supposed to have equal opportunities to get an education and achieve the American dream.” Hattar, a transfer student majoring in biology, also pointed out further problems with education’s high costs: “I feel that the high and increasing prices put pressure on students to know what they want to do right as they enter college,” she said. “It makes us feel unable to make mistakes because it turns out to be so outrageously expensive if someone decides they want to change their program.”
Unfortunately for us students, it looks like the cost of education will continue to rise. How do you cope with increasing college expenses? Join the conversation at @Michigan_Journal!