I recently listened to an article from APM American RadioWorks about colleges who are "lowering" their prices. The woman interviewed for the podcast, Sandy Baum of George Washington University, had the gall to say that no students pay "sticker price" for their education...
I, personally, have never paid anything BUT "sticker price." When I attended Northern Virginia Community College, I paid 18.35/credit hour, one class at a time, to complete my community college degree. At the time that was "sticker price." When I left that college the tuition rates had moved to $22/credit hour, still a reasonable rate for someone to pay their way through school. When I finished my bachelors degree at the University of Phoenix in 1998, I still paid "sticker price" for my education. And now, with my Masters Degree completed I am looking at nearly $75,000 in student loans to pay off for the rest of my life. All institutions, I attended, were more than happy to let me pay "sticker price" for my education. Now, I have mortgaged my retirement.
Did any of these institutions offer me assistance other than pointing me to the Student Loan programs? No. In fact, when I was accepted to the University of Central Florida, when I completed my Associates degree, I applied for 37 different scholarships, pulling out anything that might help me qualify (learning disabilities, non-traditional student, child of a veteran...), and not a single scholarship found me a qualifying candidate for their awards. I was completely broke, no savings, no real income, and still I could not qualify for any of the "relief" money available.
So, no, Sandy Baum, I do not agree, at all, with your assertions that nearly every student doesn't actually pay sticker price. I paid "sticker price" as did the vast majorities of my peers.
If you made it this far in my BLOG, please take my survey and tell me how you paid for school after high school. I don't believe that academics should be studying themselves, as they cannot be completely objective. Let's put our voices together and find out the reality of our educational lives.
Caryn Morgan, corporate trainer, obtained her Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training