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Crystal Morales
Professor Erick Kufs
English 114B
11 March 2016
Money Makes Our College Experience
Getting accepted into college especially one of your dream schools, is one of the most
exciting events in anyones life, but the hardest decision at the same time. I believe money is a
large factor of whether or not we will be present at the university we want to attend. Yes, getting
accepted may be the most important thing at the moment, but with the rapid increase in tuition
prices, it is also something to worry about. UCs and CSUs have had the most dramatic rise
compared to other public universities in other states which can affect students especially those
who do not receive FAFSA, because nobody wants to be in debt after college. Most students
work more than one job to pay for their college education or to simply just pay off their loans
along the way of trying to earn their degree.
A student named Rebekah Phillips who is a sophomore at San Francisco State University
was mentioned in the article by Tanya Caldwell called Current College Students Struggle
Surviving Rising Tuitions, where Phillips is working two jobs just to pay her expenses to attend,
although she is not sure she will survive the expenses in the fall semester due to the tuition rising
again about 9.3 percent. I think one of the biggest shocks is when students come in as freshman
and a semester later theres a fee increase, stated Mr. Whalen (deputy chief of staff at San
Francisco State.) Tuition increases each year makes it difficult for students to graduate on time
simply because it becomes more expensive than the last. A state that has a huge budget shortage,

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tends to fall on the backs of college students by increasing the schools financial budget which
can be a problem to those students who received little to no Financial Aid and are considered low
income.
Increase in tuition across all California public four-year universities, have concerned
students whether or not they can even afford to get a college education after high school,
especially those of very low income. Luckily, grant and scholarship programs have helped
students from lower and middle class families by giving them enough money to attend, but the
tuition price by itself, will be a very large part of their income. From 2004 to 2013, UCs and
CSUs have doubled their tuition from about $4,000 to more than $9,000 and it still continues to
increase.
The problem with tuition increasing, is that that is not the only thing students need to pay for in
college. The costs of textbooks as well comes out to be very expensive. For example, I purchased
a book for my Psychology class last semester, I had no choice of renting it and I could only
purchase it at the Matador Bookstore. It cost me about $165 just for a book I was only using for
four months (need me to remind you I still had to purchase four more books for my other
classes). Luckily, my friends told me of a few websites where they might have the book you are
looking for, cheaper than it would be sold at the bookstore. In total, I saved a lot of money
compared to if I were to have bought it from CSUNs bookstore. Still, the fee to attend any CSU
or UC plus purchasing textbooks or essentials needed for a class can be very expensive
especially for students who live outside of California or simply received little to no help.
The tuition cost for a student to attend CSUN, is $6,544 a year not including fees needed
to be paid for orientation, healthcare, textbooks, etc. As a student coming from a low income
family, choosing a university to attend was very difficult especially because at the time I did not

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know whether or not I would receive Financial Aid. My choices were between CSUN and my
dream school Mount Saint Marys Private University. I had my heart set to attend MSMU, but
when I talked to the financial advisor, they said how my financial aid would not cover my whole
tuition so I would have had to take out two loans and my mom would have to take out three. The
tuition by itself was $16,000 plus other fees I would have needed to pay; the total for housing,
fees, parking, tuitions would have come out to about $48,922 per year. I was kind of
disappointed I was not able to attend, but I was still happy I had CSUN as another option, so I
save about $9,456 a year and I havent had to take out any loans (so far), but I am one of many
students who had to made this decision based on saving money and not falling deep in debt,
other students would still give in to taking out loans and paying thousands of dollars more at a
different school just to receive the same education but be able to say they got it done at a popular
UC or CSU.
Just like any university, whether it is private or public, the lowest prices still might be too
high for certain students. According to Van Thompson of Global Post, he states Although
college enrollment has increased over the passed thirty years, tuition hikes continue to decrease
the number of students who choose to enroll but do not end up attending. In my junior year of
high school, there were a lot of students who were seniors at the time, stated they were not
attending college because they felt it was a waste of money and it was too expensive. Not only
that, but the students who did attend, dropped out after their first year or even some, after their
first semester. It becomes difficult and stressful for students to go to school and to work long
hours to cover the costs of their expenses. It ends up interfering with their academic
performance.

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A study conducted in 2002 by the State Public Interest Research Groups Higher
Education Project found that working full time harms grades. Forty-two percent of the survey
responders said it hurts them academically and affects them in the classroom, while fifty-three
percent stated that working limits them from taking the classes they need for their major/minor.
Being a full time student and working full time can be very exhausting. Most students even work
two jobs because their own family cannot afford to give them the money they need for college or
to even pay half of their tuition. Sure, a student can apply for financial aid or be given grants, but
what are the chances the student might receive the help they need? If so, the more money the
federal government gives out as financial aid, the more money colleges charge for tuition. So in
the end, money is a very large factor when it comes to college.
In conclusion, money ties very strongly to college. College, without being charged for all
these essentials and tuition, would basically just be high school (without having to go all day
everyday.) They say it all pays off once you graduate, but is it really worth being thousands of
dollars in debt after college from only getting your Bachelors Degree? Lowering the cost of
tuition can increase the amount of students who can actually attend. Colleges should not be
putting such an expensive price tag on getting an education even if it is not mandatory to attend.
There are many students who dream of going to college and creating a better life for themselves
by getting an education, they should not have their dreams crushed just because they cannot pay
the amount the school asks.

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Works Cited
Caldwell, Tanya. Current College Students Struggle to Survive Rising Tuitions. The Choice
Blog. The New York Times, February 15th, 2012. Web. 11 March 2016.
Carry Mary Kate. Why the Government is to Blame for High College Costs. U.S. News. U.S.
World and Report News, November 23rd, 2011. Web. 11 March 2016.
Jackson, Jacob. Higher Education in California: Student Costs. Public Policy Institute of
California. November 2014. Web. 11 March 2016.
Johnson, Mary. Money Matters on Campus: Finances Stress College Students. Huffington Post
College. February 27th, 2013. Web. 11 March 2016.
Thompson, Van. How Tuition Increases Affects College Students. EverydayLife. Global Post,
2016. Web. 11 March 2016.