Who do college administrations serve?
As a senior, I have been starting to wonder this. All of my life, I have been taught that going to college is a time to explore and to learn more about yourself. However as I have started to progress through university, I have noticed that for people who work for the administration, it's all about increasing revenue.
While I do respect this perspective, it is not why nonprofit colleges opened and therefore shouldn't be focus. As a disclaimer, this article is from one perspective and does not represent a 100% unbiased view. In the future I will speak about the benefits of administrations.
In order to break this issue down I will speak about 2 main items and perspective about administrations.
1. Meal Plan
The average meal plan at my university costs around $14, which is $4 more than Golden Corral, which is served in a similar manner and is a for profit business. The question becomes why the universities meal plan is so expensive.
The reasons are two fold, on the expense side they have to guarantee that there will always be food available to students to eat, no matter the weather or the amount of people inside. Second at this university meal services are contracted out of the university. While this works to keep the university out of the food business partially, it is still highly costly to everyone involved. It still does not justify the costs that meal plans cost students. The people who tend to have the most meal plans are first and second years and this is because a lot of times they are in buildings that do not allow them to not have them.
The plans then become a necessity to live and like paying taxes you're forced to spend the money, even if it is parent's money at times. Second it seems like because younger crowds can be the targets, there is an assumption that mom and dad will cover it and from experience I can tell you that that is not always the case.
2. Additional Fees
When you are spending a few hundred dollars in fees a semester in addition to the actual tuition, something does not seem right. Tuition is an item that is gone up dramatically in the past 30 years. With the average private college student paying over $20000 a year, how come there are still additional fees to pay.
While the expenses are not going to go away anytime soon, it is time for us to start looking at how universities pay for them. There is simply no reason that people still have student fees to pay and the different leaders need to find a way to budget for them out of the regular school budget.
Education is now one of the most expensive things that people pay for. It is time that we all start finding ways to reduce these cost to a more fair and equal level than we are pursuing right now. Instead of charging $14 dollars a meal, there is a possibility to charge $8, which should help cover the costs that people need to spend to provide these meals.
Instead of treating our universities as places where we celebrate reaching fundraising goals, let's get back to the task at hand and focus on educating the next world leaders.