I gotta say, Universities sure know how to steal the optimum amount of money from a student. Thanks to some lucky career opportunities the situation I face is debt free, however I’m still no stranger to University “scams” as I call them.
Sure there is nothing illegal about their tactics but the whole higher education system is just a business, and if I’ve learned anything about business it’s that their interests lie in money not in us, students. Let me explain.
The ways a University makes the most amount of money off a student is by:
- Huge tuition fees – 6k a year (+ another 6k if you need a place to live), so what suddenly being smart is not enough? Apparently you have to be rich too.
- Mandatory activity fees, only part of which can be refunded. – How about asking me what I want or don’t want out of the student fees? Oh I get it, you’re just hoping that I pay it now, and forget to get it refunded later.
- Books – I bought my statistics book last semester. The condition was used and with it came a separate study guide of 20 pages. Guess how much the total was? Before I tell you, let me add that the book was published in 1995. Oh and the book is completely black and white with no color anywhere! Alright so it cost me $90 for the book and $16 for the solutions manual. I was left wondering what the bigger rip-off was, the 0.80 cent/page solution manual or the old book. Sure I understand why you’d want to use an old book, the basic concepts don’t change math is math, but why charge the student 3 times what it’s worth?
- Parking – Got an exam on a weekday? Get ready to bend over and pay $1.50/half hour. Like damn, parking downtown is cheaper than that. But on the bright side, at least the parking meters take credit cards.
- Bus Passes – Apparently student’s are the richest people around, because even elderly folk (God bless them) get huge public transportation discount, but the student population, who’s getting jumped by greedy University admins still have to pay full price for their bus passes. Discounts? No way students don’t need them!
- Campus Food – So you’ve paid you tuition, bought your books, paid for transportation, now lets try to stay healty and eat right. Vending machines have everything priced at at least $1.50, and on campus food places have prices that make you want to eat bread and drink water.
- Library late fees -$1.00 a day. Are you kidding me? Might as well make it by the minute. Obviously if you think about it, 6/10 times a book taken out will likely be late, we’re busy as it is with the school load, so we obviously forget about our darned library books.
- Video on Demand – So you live too far from campus to contribute to the greedy parking police, well that’s alright they’ll make you pay for watching lectures online. That’s right, a course already costs ~$600 as it is (plus books?) , what’s another $50 right? (Do what I do, register, get the links to the videos and drop the VOD access for a refund.)
Still have money left for other fees? Then you are one of the lucky few.It is absolutely outrageous. Unless you make it your priority to not let the University steal from you, you will never know that there are ways around certain fees, and possibilities for other free or cheaper services. You must always ask questions, know when the deadlines for fee payments are (what you never heard of interest?), be prompt, be efficient and keep in mind that everything the University seemingly offers as a good bargain, has a hidden scam that will likely come to bite 60% of us in the ass.
You thought you were going to educate yourself and get a higher education? Sorry but you actually came here to pay your way to a higher education. The more times you fail a course the more you make the University prosper (only student facilities seem to always be a year or two behind). Sure life isn’t fair but I thought that’s what the years after school were for (see Tax man). Ever seen that commercial about “Banks always have their hand in your pocket“, well it’s not just banks, its Universities.
I hate this corporate world, everything revolves around money, nothing is valued other than in terms of $$$. It’s wrong and its sickening and we are not headed anywhere with this. Of course that being said, I, like the rest of you, will make it one of their goals in life to make enough money to support our needy way of life. So perhaps it is our fault for being so spoiled and always wanting that next generation iPod phone that costs 600 bones just because we are “hip”.
I guess on the flip side of things, we should still be thankful for the opportunity that we have to make something of ourselves. Money or not, we have the chance that not many have in this world, to make it in life. To prosper and ensure a good living for our current/future families. Sure it takes a lot of money, time and effort, but who said it was going to be easy. Guess it is just a long term investment …