Expensive knowledge: Antioch College and the cost of education

College bills – it’s something we all know is a big problem. In order to be successful in life, people have to go deeply into debt to get a slip of paper that “proves” they know what someone else thinks is important. But should the process really be as expensive as it has become?

According to the College Board 2011-2012 report, when all the costs are added up the average price of an out-of-state public school is $29,700. The average private school cost is $38,600. When you multiply that by four (or five) years, it’s a big price tag.

As tuition and expenses at most colleges continue to rise, some schools have started to look at alternative ways for students to pay for their education. An article on the Wall Street Journal’s website from May 12, 2009 lists seven colleges which do not charge their students tuition.
Most of the schools listed require that students work 10-20 hours each week to help offset their educational expenses. One such school is College of the Ozarks, located nearby in Point Lookout, Mo. These schools offer an option for those who need a degree but do not have the money to get one the traditional way.

Another school recently joined the list of tuition-free schools, although only for a short time. On Jan. 27, CBS News reported on its website that Antioch College would be offering free tuition for students admitted during the next four years, a $106,000 value. The response to the article was so overwhelming that the server for Antioch’s website crashed that afternoon.

A student group in California is also seeking a solution to the growing cost, as USA Today College reported on Jan. 24. The group, FixUC, has developed a plan in which students at University of California schools would pay nothing upfront for their college education but rather would pay 5 percent of their income for the next 20 years.

While we could discuss whether plans such as FixUC’s are actually practical, the Threefold Advocate would rather focus on the big picture. The fact is that the rising cost of education continues to concern many people. We want to applaud those who are willing to step outside the status quo and come up with creative solutions to the problem.

We also want to thank the administration of our school. While students may complain frequently about the cost of attending here, the Threefold Advocate is grateful that it is somewhat less than the public school average and for the variety of financial aid that is available. The University also works hard at implementing policies such as zero waste that seek to reduce the increase of costs.

At the same time, the Threefold Advocate would encourage the University to continue searching for other creative ways to help students be able to afford their quality education.