Should an undergraduate studying business pay more than one studying psychology? Should a journalism degree cost more than one in literature? More and more public universities, confronting rising costs and lagging state support, have decided that the answers may be yes and yes.
Starting this fall, juniors and seniors pursuing an undergraduate major in the business school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will pay $500 more each semester than classmates. The University of Nebraska last year began charging engineering students a $40 premium for each hour of class credit.
And Arizona State University this fall will phase in for upperclassmen in the journalism school a $250 per semester charge above the basic $2,411 tuition for in-state students.
Such moves are being driven by the high salaries commanded by professors in certain fields, the expense of specialized equipment and the difficulties of getting state legislatures to approve general tuition increases, university officials say.
“It is something of a trend,” said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
Even as they embrace such pricing, many officials acknowledge they are queasy about a practice that appears to value one discipline over another or that could result in lower-income students clustering in less expensive fields.
“This is not the preferred way to do this,” said Patrick V. Farrell, provost at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “If we were able to raise resources uniformly across the campus, that would be a preferred move. But with our current situation, it doesn’t seem to us that that’s possible.”
At the University of Kansas, which started charging different prices in the early 1990s, there are signs that the higher cost of majoring in certain subjects is affecting the choices of poorer students.
“We are seeing at this point purely anecdotal evidence,” said Richard W. Lariviere, provost and executive vice chancellor at the university. “The price sensitivity of poor students is causing them to forgo majoring, for example, in business or engineering, and rather sticking with something like history.”
Private universities do not face the same tuition constraints and for the most part are avoiding the practice, educators say, holding to the traditional idea that college students should be encouraged to get a well-rounded education.
Richard Fass, vice president for planning at Pomona, a private liberal arts college in California, said educators there considered it fundamental for students to feel part of the larger college, not segmented by differential costs. “The entire curriculum is by design available to all students,” he said.
Some public university officials say they worry that students who are charged more for their major will stick to the courses in their field to feel that they are getting their money’s worth.
“I want students in the College of Engineering at Iowa State to take courses in the humanities and to take courses in the social sciences,” said Mark J. Kushner, the dean of that college. To address problems like climate change, Mr. Kushner said, graduates will need to understand much more than technology. “That’s sociology, that’s economics, that’s politics, that’s public policy.”
Undergraduate juniors and seniors in the engineering school at Iowa State last year began paying about $500 more annually, he said, and the size of that additional payment is scheduled to rise by $500 a year for at least the next two years.
Mr. Kushner said he thought society was no longer looking at higher education as a common good but rather as a way for individuals to increase their earning power.
“There was a time, not that long ago, 10 to 15 years ago, that the vast majority of the cost of education at public universities was borne by the state, and that was why tuition was so low,” he said. “That was based on the premise that the education of an individual is a public good, that individuals go out and become schoolteachers and businessmen and doctors and lawyers, that makes society better. That’s no longer the perception.”
Neither the State University of New York nor the Connecticut State University System use differential pricing, officials say. New Jersey, however, has done so for years, according to Greg Trevor, senior director of media relations for Rutgers. In the new school year, in-state undergraduates in the general program will pay tuition of $8,541, but engineering and pharmacy students will pay $9,484.80 and business students will pay $8,716.
This is just flat out bullshit. We already pay enough for college as it is and they have the gall charge more pending on what your major is? Whoever thought of this needs a swift kick in the twig n berries, because this is just ridiculous. I wonder how much this affects private universities...
WTF, young adults already have to deal with skyrocketing vehicle insurance rates, the normal cost of a post secondary education, pressure from parents to succeed, and a whole list of other things, you'd think people would get bored of bullshitting us?
Heaven's gonna burn your eyes
16th April 2005
You're universities do cost much more - it's cheaper to come here paying full price and living costs than just paying tuition in the States. In fact, that's why the uni halls are packed with Americans.
But at the same time, different pay rates for different degrees isn't that outrageous. A BSc is almost certainly going to incur more costs than a BA, because there are labs and such.
Stupidest thing I've ever heard.
As a prospective college student from a [very] low-income family, this effects me greatly. I find it ridiculous that we charge so much to educate students in the first place, and to find that they're charging even more is absurd. The "materials" excuse is pure shit; you think $20,000/yr won't cover materials?
I'm at a loss to understand why European countries charge next-to-nothing to send students to university, and we're still charging more than the average salary (at the average private university).
That leaves students like me hoping that FAFSA will have sympathy on my situation and give me a little aid. Scholarships are useless, because half of them are degree-specific or research-specific, or for minorities.
Pssht, welcome to business. College has been about making money for decades now and this is just further proof. The charge more for the more popular classes because guess what? More people take those classes. In little under 3 generations our society has gone from teaching greek and latin in High School to teaching remedial english in College, all in the name of the almighty dollar.
Businesses make it so that they wont hire you without a Bullshiat degree from an 'accredited' school, and then colleges jack the price up because they know youll pay it to ensure you get the job you want. Meanwhile, our society gets ever dumber because nobody goes to school anymore to LEARN shiat. just to get a piece of paper saying their worth a certain salary. Half the f---ers in my online classes arent even INTERESTED in the shiat their paying for. they only want it because its a course requirement for a degree they will never use to get a job that is unrelated.
I'm way cooler than n0e (who isn't though?)
27th May 2004
An interesting concept I heard presented the other day.
At the turn on the 1900s people were just beginning to go to school, and for the first time, we had educated people. A majority of the population that could read and write. And what comes with knowledge? The ability to inquire and ask more. So before the 1900s.. did we have any real form of protest movements? Yea we did.. but not in this sense..
The women's rights movement. The Trade Unionists. People began to ask more and demand more from their leaders as their knowledge and understanding grew of the world around them.
Education is a Governments way of controlling people.
Universities have ridiculously high requirements these days, whether it be a High School mark (here it is a UAI - University Admissions Index), or crazy amounts of cash for a certain course.
The HSC (End of High School Exams) often create huge stress, with suicide attempts by students, depression, breakdowns, all of that. It's a good thing to set yourself up for sure, it teaches organisational skills and so on. But the pressure it brings causes a lot of damage to people. A girl I knew commited suicide because of the tasks being placed on her, she had no time for thing but school, and it brought her down. The system didn't help her either.
The Government is making it harder and harder to get a good education, but then, they are making it harder and harder to get a profession without one. Bit oppressing isn't it?
College is expensive already as it is. Having to pay more just because you want to go into Engineering or Business (An Accounting Major myself) is absurd. No one should have to pay a premium for their education just because more people chose those majors over others. These days it's getting harder and harder to get a decent living without a college degree, and apparently to get into a good living you have to pay your way in.
XCON_Faxion;3835113College is expensive already as it is. Having to pay more just because you want to go into Engineering or Business (An Accounting Major myself) is absurd. No one should have to pay a premium for their education just because more people chose those majors over others. These days it's getting harder and harder to get a decent living without a college degree, and apparently to get into a good living you have to pay your way in.
Dont worry, when civilization finally hits critical mass in this country and melts down, the colleges will be the first to feel the sting. and by sting i mean of course looting rioting and general destruction of property.
That is why universities suck. The cost does nowhere near justify the level of education (or lack thereof).
WiseBobo;3835149That is why universities suck. The cost does nowhere near justify the level of education (or lack thereof).
It's paradoxal, here in Finland we have had a chatter about setting university charges to improve the quality of education. They are not ment to be important for the funding of the universities, more like to courage the students to take their education seriously. (it's far to tempting to sign is as a student and then recieve 450€/month from social security, the requirements are quite relaxed). At the moment the studying is complitely free (exluding the student union fee of ~80€/year), which is seen kind of unmotivating, since the living is (overally, also economicly) relatively easy for students.