College Cost

College is just another consumable good in our capitalist society. Each college is like a company that is trying to sell it’s product, which in this case is education. Colleges have to compete against one another for students and this often involves adding features to the campus which are meant to attract new students, such as a beautifully designed campus, renowned professors, good food, and nice dorms as well as a variety of other student services. These features end up costing a lot of money which in turn forces the students to pay for a higher quality college. Colleges continue to increase their spending in order to continue to compete with the others which have better features. Archibald and Feldman explain in their book, Why Does College Cost So Much?, that “economic growth itself is the driving engine of cost in the still artisan-like higher education industry” (Archibald, 86). Since colleges are similar to a capitalist consumer good, they also ebb and flow with the rest of the economy. Similar to any economic curve, the economy of higher education is cyclical. When there is a low demand for college educated workers then the demand for college goes down, like it did in the 70’s, but once their is so little demand for them and not enough students are going to college, then positions in the workforce which require educated workers begin to increase the demand for college students again, like in the 80’s, which in turn increases the demand for college. Right now the necessity and demand for college students is high so the demand for college is high, but I believe soon the price for colleges will outway the demand for colleges and colleges will have to lower their tuitions again just as before. When considering cost of colleges we must primarily focus our attention on the economy and what demand is present for college students and what the value of that demand is.

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