Why is college so expensive?

College tuition is going up all over the nation, faster than scholarships can cover, faster than inflation, and much faster than the economy is recovering.  And, due to drastic cuts made by the NC GOP to education earlier this year, North Carolina is no exception.

All over the state, tuition is rising like an ominous tide. UNC, NC State, and ECU have all proposed tuition hikes, and smaller colleges like NC Central and UNC Asheville aren’t safe either. Even community colleges are feeling the squeeze and increasing prices by $10 per credit hour.

The worst part, though, is that all of this isn’t even necessary. The budget for 2011 also included cuts in revenue, like a one cent sales tax reduction which costs our state millions. It’s criminal, really.

These tax reductions are usually made in the name of “saving jobs” or improving the economy, but what they really do is steal money from other pieces of the state budget, like education.

The hit on the college system is particularly painful. In these tough economic times, our state and our country need quality education to train future employees, innovators, and entrepreneurs. It’s a real investment in our future that’s much more valuable than any short term gains achieved through tax cuts. Why our lawmakers can’t see this, I don’t know.