PILING ON THE PRICE TAGS

Additional fees place a burden on students

By Lanthorn Editorial Board | 2/14/16 9:02pm

editorial


When it comes to money, the traditional college student doesn't have much to spare. With record-breaking tuition costs looming and crazy high costs of textbooks, students' limited finances should be taken into consideration when administrators raise prices on campus.

Recently, Grand Valley State University administrators announced increases in parking, housing and campus dining prices.

In the grand scheme of things, an extra $15 charge for each parking citation isn't the end of the world, but when you combine it with the rising prices of textbooks, increased housing costs and heightened food prices, things can add up. The exponential costs to attend college are leaving students strapped for cash and stressed. Add to that the additional costs for extra credits and honors courses, and those fees can quickly pile up to a pretty significant sum for students.

With an increase in cost of literally everything, students are being stretched thin. While the cost increases were minimal this year, this constant upping of student costs is dangerously close to becoming a concerning trend. What will happen in upcoming years when costs go up even more? When evaluating the consequences of increasing fees, administrators need to keep in mind that prices are going up for everything, and while a few dollars here or there isn't that staggering, those little increases add up fast. Should this patter continue, students will be forced to dodge these costs by not purchasing meal plans or not bringing their car to campus, which will in turn severely limit their college experience.

Not to mention the things that will need to be cut in terms of social experiences.  While friends and extra-curricular activities are not the most important thing in the world, they are part of the college experience.  Spending tons of money on housing, tuition, textbooks and parking limits the amount of money college students can spend on things like going bowling, eating dinner with friends or even joining Greek life.  

Joining organizations, studying abroad and spending time with friends aren't necessary to succeed in college, but they are imperative to creating a well-rounded individual, which GVSU often emphasizes as one of its goals. These additional-cost opportunities help college students expand their horizons and build professional networks. Without money to spend on these things, students will be less likely to succeed after they walk across the graduation stage.  

Spending four years stressed about homework is to be expected, but spending four years worried about the rising cost of college is unfair to students. 

It's understandable that, sometimes, prices need to increase to offset costs or encourage less use of certain services, like parking. Before these price changes are put into place, however, administration should ensure they are weighing the pros and cons of and coming out with students' well-being on top. 

When students choose a college, a huge factor in that decision is cost. However, it appears that each year, those costs that were carefully considered as a freshman creep higher and higher. Administrators at GVSU need to be careful that their incremental increases don't end up making the price tag of being a Laker for a Lifetime too high for students to stay the full four years. 

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