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Rebecca Costanzo

Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
Synthesis 2
The cost of attending a college or university is talked about every day. Out loud,
in a book or even in a journal article. As the topic of paying for higher education stays
the same, the subtopics always change. Writers elaborate on the cost of higher education, how to pay for college, whether the benefits are worth it or not, what is steering
teenagers away and the debt most college students rack up throughout the for years it
takes to gain a degree. Using twenty-four different sources the arguments will be laid
out in this synthesis.
A journal article written by Salman Khan breaks down the American higher education system and compared it to a Canadian university. What College Could be Like
touches on the cost of tuition rising in the last ten years, Canadas has not. Khan also
writes about the student debt here in America, the University of Waterloo in Ontario
Canada barely sees student debt. He questions where the students payments are going
and if a student will find a job using their degree that they worked so hard and payed so
much money to earn. This article is the perfect piece to compare to all arguments involving the cost of college or a university.
First issue that needs addressing is why college costs so much. University officials will argue that the money is being places in new facilities, professors salary and
paying off their debt they have attained as a school. Students and some faculty members may argue that those excuses are bogus.
Escalating Cost of College is a short article written by Ann Sobel. She refers to
universities as a Big Business. Her argument includes officials taking our money simply because they can. Sobel explains some examples where the colleges are only out to
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Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
save money. A specific example is the reduction of professors that all colleges are experiencing. Cutting full time faculty saves money on offices, insurance and salary. Why
hire full time professors when you can hire graduate students to teach for cheap?
There are three sources that have close to the same title and same argument in
each piece. Tuition Rising: Why College Costs So Much, a website article by Ronald
Ehrenberg, The Rising Cost of Higher Education: A Tuition Handbook a book by John
Thelin and a youtube video titled The Rising Cost of Higher Education all focuses on
more than the price of tuition. Of course tuition is expensive but is that the only thing
taking funds out of your pocket? Room and board, parking passes and food on campus
are escalating by the day and causing student debt at the same rate, if not faster, than
class fees are.
A book titled Why Does College Cost So Much? explains how much the cost of
attending college has changed over the decades and why. Robert Archilbald and David
Feldman collaborated on this to give people specific reasons on why students pay so
much for higher education. One example given by these two is the drop in the economy
the U.S. has been experiencing since 2008. The economy plummets and schools automatically go into debt, how will they climb out of this rut? Colleges were forced to raise
tuition to pay these debts off and as the years go on the economy lowers and college
tuition has to raise to compensate. As Archilbald and Feldmans book references to the
rising tuition starting years ago, it converges with an article by Janet Lorin,
College Tuition in the U.S. Again Rises Faster than Inflation. Lorin says that the issue
of pricey tuition is not a new issue. In fact, she claims that this has been going on for
years and is not expected to stop anytime soon.
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Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
A school fighting protestors publicly told students that they are using their tuition
money to strengthen the schools curriculum. The speech titled For Liberal Art Colleges, No Time to be Content with the Status Quo was given by John Knapp because
he was trying to end the arguments the school faced daily about their high price of tuition. His argument included that you get what you pay for. Meaning, if you were to pay
low amounts of tuition, you would not receive the same quality of information than you
would at their school. Their high prices of tuition are steering teenagers away from attending that specific art school.
The second category of research on the cost to attending a college or university,
is the choice teenagers have to make on whether to go to college, or not, and choosing
what college to attend. This decision may be easier for high income families but not
nearly as easy for low income families. Grants have become so hard to attain and student debt is a new trend as explained in an article by Alexander Astin. The Changing
American College Student: Thirty Year Trends.
Sarah Goldrick-Rab is the author of Accelerating College Knowledge: A Fiscal
Analysis of a Targeted Early Commitment Pell Grant Program. This journal article is to
aid the fear of student debt. The Early Commitment Pell Grant Program was created
because the number of teens not attending college due to the cost is growing too high.
This program begins giving away money for college tuition as early as the eighth grade.
If students keep up on the course, they have the potential to pay for the majority of ones
college experience; hopefully pulling more teenagers back to the idea of furthering their
education.

Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
The Impact of Cost on College Choice: Beyond the Means of Economically Disadvantaged is an journal article written by Michael Lillis and Robert Guang. This focuses on the key factors in the decision making process students face when choosing a
college. The first thing most people look at is tuition price. More often then not, students
will choose a cheaper school instead of the best school. Also, a common decision by
teenagers is attending a two year community college to start and then transfer to a four
year university to finish their bachelors degree. Manuel Gonzalez analyzes this decision
in an article titled Is Community College a Less Expensive Path Toward a Bachelors
Degree?. He explains here that it is not. Students that go this route often end up paying
more money because this leads to more years to obtain a degree. The generals taken
at the two year college may not be needed or not enough. Causing them to take more
classes, meaning paying more tuition.
The College Bubble is an article that explains the third category of research on
the cost of attending a college or a university. Megan McArdle says that with the prices
of college doubling, jobs disappearing and the possibility of never using your degree,
why risk the money or the four years it takes to gain a bachelors degree?
Two articles that focus on the benefits outweighing the cost of higher education
are Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs? by Jason Abel and Richard
Deitz, and Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs: Fed Study Says by Katherine
Peralta. Abel and Deitz compare the wages of a worker with a bachelors degree and a
worker without, the results show that the one with the degree makes significantly more
than the worker without a degree. They also touch on unemployment rates between
those without a degree and those with one. Peralta diverges a bit from comparing the
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Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
two. She instead says that no matter what the other arguments are, the benefits of college are extremely rewarding and that everyone should do it.
One of the most important, most common issues that come up when talking
about the cost of attending a college or university is student debt. Research category
four is based completely around the reality of student debt, the impact it has on the
youth and who is having it the worst. Fun fact, Utah is the number one state in the U.S.
for student debt. According to this website article Best and Worst States on Student
Debt by Richie Bernardo.
The Impact of Youth Debt on College Graduation is and article by Zhan Min
touches on the rate of students dropping out of college courses because the debt is becoming so overwhelming. Min also adds that not only are student loan debts weighing
heavily on students shoulders but so is credit card debt. Credit cards are often used by
college classmates to pay for books, food or clothing and plays a huge role in the debt
that college campus see.
The fifth and final category when talking about the cost of attending a college or
university is paying for college. Once the decision has been made to go, a plan needs to
be set in place. Grants and Federal Loans used to be what teenagers relied on most to
pay for college but those aids are growing thinner and thinner as the years go by. As
explained in Social Class and College Costs: Examining the Financial Nexus Between
College Choice and Persistence by Michael Paulsen and Edward John the grants and
loans used to convince students to attend college but are now scaring them away with
the debt.

Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
Stanley Ikenberry and Terry Hartle wrote an article similar to Kim Youngmi, Jin
Huang and Michael Sherrarden touching on what families are willing to do for their students to attend a well renowned college. Ikenberry and Hartle wrote Too Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing: What the Public Thinks and Knows About Paying for College specifying the argument that, apart from what parents believe, you do not have to
pay top dollar in order to have your child attend a great school. Youngmi, Huang and
Sherrarden wrote What Shapes Assessments of Ability to Pay for Childrens College
Education focuses more on showing parents how to pay for college, even if you pick
the most expensive school. The Right Way to Borrow for College is a website article
for those parents that need to be taught how to borrow smart and attain the least
amount of debt possible.
When talking about paying for a college or university, several different subtopics
come up. Why college costs so much, the choice on whether to go to college or not,
why go if the benefits are not worth the payments or work, the debt students rack up
and how to pay for college are all things a teen going into college or even an adult wanting to further their education. Although the topic of paying for college stays the same, its
the camps of discussion that make this a true conversation.

Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
Bibliography
Lillis, Michael P., and Robert Guang Tian. "The Impact of Cost on College
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Rebecca Costanzo
Writing 2010
Jennifer Courtney
Ekman, Richard. "Myths and Reality about U.S. Higher Education." Vital Speeches of the Day 79.12 (2013): 392-96. 1 Dec. 2013. Academic Search Premiere.
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www.youtube.com/watch?v=J89EUG8l8tI