You know what really matters?

Many of my friends and acquaintances here at Brandeis right now are struggling to find a way to pay for college. They might graduate early, they might drop out. Some have already taken a semester or two off, and might not be able to return.

What the fuck?

I just talked to an absolutely cool prospective student I met last year. She was certain she wanted to come to Brandeis, but it turned out that she couldn’t pay and had to settle for for a different (inferior) school.

Why?

Not only are my friends being forced out of Brandeis due to its astronomical tuition, but many of us will be saddled with huge debt once we graduate, and face an even greater challenge paying for grad school.

I’m really frustrated because this is all happening in front of my very eyes, and I can see things get worse every month. I don’t know what to do about this. Please, anyone, if you are listening, help us!

7 comments on “What really matters.”

  1. Doug Says:

    One of the great problems with the American way of thinking. In Ireland, and all other European countries, they pay for their education later on in life (in the form of much higher taxes on those who become rich enough to pay them). In America, the belief here is that you’ll do really well you are handsomely rewarded (and there are little taxes to stop your reign of terror), but anything below that you are completely fucked by debt and everything else. Students here in Ireland were upset when, to settle the massive government debt, they were considering charging for tuition again. Compare that to the California public system where they raised to tuition to near private levels.

    When it comes down to it, unless you can figure out a way to brainwash half of this country into either not show up on election day, or be ok with some socialist ideas to subsidize things, the price of tuition isn’t going anywhere (as has been said before, that’s how much it cost with the supply demand for a college education). That being said us students get screwed over in so many other ways. The astronomical cost of books and the monopoly the bookstore has over them, here in Ireland the student union runs the used books racket and its a hell of a lot cheaper. The overpriced housing on campus that in general is absolute shit, and the meal plans they force us to pay into that offers terrible food and even worse hours. There are so many other little things I’m not thinking of right now, ways they rub salt on the wounds of tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt.

    Anyways I’m really glad you guys here see whats important. This whole impeachment is proof that the members of the union who just care about bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy need to either spend their time working instead (you know to work off all that debt 😉 ) or partying (which is one of the main functions of the student union here in Dublin).

    This is was fun, now back to studying for my first final tonight at 6. See ya!

  2. Alan Royals Says:

    Go to state schools or McGill.

  3. Phil Says:

    I plan on going to the University of British Columbia for grad school (if they let me in). Tuition for international students is $7,200/year, and if you study full-time they’ll reduce it by almost half. I’ve already got over $35,000 in debt, I don’t need to take on another $40,000.

    That said, I like the Danish system. No tuition, AND you get a student stipend every month.

  4. Mariel Says:

    I agree that the debt problem is the root of many of the other problems that students in the US face–so how do we fix it? I don’t think we can rely on the electoral system for this–private universities are notoriously impervious to voter demands (and so are state universities, really). The thing is, most private universities (Brandeis is an exception because of its age) don’t rely on tuition and could easily eliminate it or heavily subsidize it for all students. The problem is that students have been willing to go into debt up to their eyeballs to finance their educations, so universities have absolutely no incentive (from students) to keep tuition low. Think about it–when universities have granted tuition breaks to some income brackets, it’s been as a result of their own PR calculations rather than in response to student demands. Doesn’t that seem a bit weird to people? Shouldn’t we at least be trying to build a student movement against tuition hikes at private universities?

  5. George Says:

    Mariel’s totally correct. Private colleges charge what they do because they can, especially the schools with really massive endowments.

    Doug, I’m sorry to see you have disdain for the “American way of thinking”. You think high taxes on successful graduates is the solution to pay for private education? Last time I checked taxes already subsidize public educational institutions…suggesting that tax dollars should pay for private tuition is certainly not the American way of thinking, and thank goodness for that!

    Students have a choice to attend public or private institutions. If you want a private education, then be prepared to pay more for it!

  6. Alan Light '84 Says:

    Part of the problem is that Brandeis (unlike almost all of its peer schools) directs a disproportionate amount of its financial aid budget to merit aid, as apposed to making all of its aid need-based.

    Brandeis feels that they need to “buy” their better students with financial aid as opposed to providing aid to needy students who really want to go to Brandeis.

    What you then end up with is a student body full of students who didn’t really want to go to Brandeis, but the financial deal was just too good to pass up.

    Search the discussion forums, I’ve seen many Brandeis students write statements such as: “I didn’t want to go here, but Brandeis bribed my parents into sending me.”

  7. Nate D. Says:

    There is something called student loans. I didn’t get a cent from Brandeis and once my college savings were exhausted midway through sophomore year that is how I paid for my remaining 2.5 years. This notion of people dropping out because they can’t pay is ludicrous. That thought never once crossed my mind. They’re dropping out b/c they’re choosing to not get student loans.