Today: Jul 23, 2024

Editor’s Note: It pays to pay

Your college tuition is endlessly flowing into a black hole, and I think I’ve finally found where that might be located—your mindset.

Students and parents around the country and here at Southern frequently send venomous barbs at state legislature and universities about the rising tuition and cost of living prices in the state. It’s all hot air however, as in the end we all have to pay. In the pres­ent job market, you need a degree to survive. A high school diploma no longer guarantees you anything more than an opportunity to go onto college.

It’s once a student gets to college that the cost re­ally begins to be tangible. The average Southern stu­dent pays roughly $19,000 per year before any grants or scholarships simply to take classes, live and eat. That sounds like far too much, until you consider that the average graduate (bachelors) earns close to $1 million more over the course of a professional career than his high school-only counterpart.

All of a sudden it makes sense—but only to an extent. Once that student gets to school, it all goes to waste.

What you need to ask yourself is “What are my classes to me?” Are they a chore? Are they the last thing you think about?

If that’s the case, I’m sorry, but cut your losses and leave now. That is, unless $19,000 a year for some classy parties and a free pass to alcoholism is worth it to you. Heck, Pops is picking up the bill anyway, right?

If you read that last statement and felt disgusted, congratulations—you’re halfway there. A degree is about more than simply dragging your half-drunk body to class and surfing the Internet for 50 minutes at a time. It’s about engaging your mind in whatever subject matter you’ve paid to do so in.

Oh, that’s the other thing: PAID.

College is not something you have been mandated to attend. College is something you pay to do, and judging by the amount of complaining that goes on about climbing tuition prices, it’s something you pay more than you think you should to participate in.

So that begs the question: if you pay too much, why don’t you care more?

When a teacher cancels a class at Southern, some­thing that happened to me as I began to write this story, students jump for joy. Oh the things an apathet­ic student can do with an extra 50 minutes that cost them a couple hundred dollars. Think about it, do the math, then check to see how high you’re jumping.

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