Cost of College

The price of college has never been higher. Before readings articles, I believed the reason behind the cost is what Archibald calls the choice between “rising costs or declining quality” (Archibald and Feldman, 90). The price of college, in a way, has to rise in order to support the needs of an always changing student body, faculty salaries, research, facilities, the list could go on and on. However, Archibald and Feldman do make the point that we can’t solely place the blame on the administrations of colleges and universities. We have to look at the broader picture, which concerns the economy as a whole.

This passage from Archibald and Feldman stood out to me:

“The critical factors are that higher education is a personal service, that it has not experienced much labor-saving productivity growth, and that the wages of the highly educated workers so important at colleges and universities have soared. These are economy-wide factors. They have little to do with any pathology in higher education” (Archibald and Feldman, 89).

What this passage means to me is that what is happening, in terms of cost, to colleges is not unique to higher education. It’s a trend we’re seeing across many different sectors, which is supposed to be reassuring. However, I think higher education is a unique sector because it predominantly affects younger generations who are not as able to handle the changes as well as other generations who are in different life-stages.

Besides that, I would still argue that higher education’s cost continue to rise just because of how necessary college is in our current society. When something is extremely popular and relevant, prices increase. In a way, students are consumers and college is like a product that everyone wants, so in a way, it’s not surprising or confusing that costs would continue to rise if people are willing to pay the price. We as a society have shown that we are more than willing.


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