Baa Ram U. announced that tuition next year will increase by 9%, making the cost of one year at my university for Colorado residents the princely sum of $7,494. Unfortunately, the Denver Post buried the lede in the final paragraph, in which the uni’s president notes that “‘If you’re the one writing the check for that $619 increase, that’s what you see, that you’re being forced to pay more money,’ [Tony] Frank said of [the tuition] hike. “That’s not abstract — but what people don’t see is how less of your taxes are being used to buy down the cost of that education.’”
No $hit, Fred. And yet, we’re still treated to blathering by people–most of whose college degrees have at least 25 years’ worth of dust on them–who want the American people to question the value of a college education. Moreover, these are in many cases the exact same people who have championed the disinvestment in higher education that started more than thirty years ago.
Interestingly enough, in the very same newspaper in which I read of this tuition increase, I learned from Ask Amy that the average price of a wedding in the United States is now $30,000. If that number is anywhere near true, then I call bull$hit not just on the Bill Bennett’s of the world, but on the spending priorities of the American people. When cost of a 4-year college degree costs only as much as one f^(king wedding, that does not suggest to me that college costs too much. It says that Americans clearly don’t value college enough, perhaps because public universities have kept tuition too damn low for too long and have too effectively disguised the true cost of government disinvestment of higher education.
I hearby call a moratorium on complaints from individuals or their parents about the cost of a college education if they spent more money on a wedding than on their own or a child’s college education. Enough, I say! Where are your priorities? Where are your values?
(And don’t b!tch here about the price of weddings these days. It is possible to Just Say No to the Marital Industrial Complex. I did it, and you can too. My dress cost $89 off the rack. I got married for maybe $3,000-$3,500 all told 17 years ago, including the volunteer food, time, and labor donated by family members. And guess what? I’m still married, to the same person! Not all marriages are happy, and not all of them last, in spite of whatever ridiculous price you paid for your party, but as my grandmother used to say, “Once you’ve got your education, no one can ever take it away from you.” Pretty smart for a mere high school graduate, Scott High School, class of ’34.)