Friday, March 19, 2010

Thoughts on tuition & textbooks

There's two ways of looking at a part-time student. There's the kind that have a decent job, making a decent income, who goes back to school to upgrade or to expand their horizons for whatever reasons. Then there's the student who has a crappy job and is going back to school part-time to change their "careers" entirely.

I find that what colleges cater to is the first type of student - where paying 500$ per course and an extra 140$ for each courses' textbooks is not a problem. (Although I must add that the course cost is dependent on the program; when I did part-time (legal) my courses were only 300$, whereas Keith's (financial management) definitely fall in the 500$ range).

So if you're taking 3 courses at 500$ a pop, that's 1500$. That's more than I pay ($1350) as a full-time student for 5 courses! Why is this? Why don't colleges offer some kind of discount the more courses you take as a part-time student?

For example, the first course is full price. The second? Fifteen percent off. Third? Twenty to twenty five. And so on. I think this method would definitely make more money for the college (not that they need any, sheesh) because:

a) people LOOOOOOOVE buying stuff on sale.
b) More people would take more than one course per semester, thus equalling more money being paid to the college, even if it is offered at a 15-40% discount.

and c) They do it for the full-time students, why not extend the same courtesy to part-time?

Don't even get me started on textbooks. HOLY. Why? WHY? I will never understand the price of textbooks. Keith's textbooks cost us an extra 150-200$ a pop for each course, and mine aren't much better. It's INSANE. College students are one of the poorest demographics out there, and some idiot is charging 80$ a book? And the Textbook and Technology Grant (available only to full-time students, what a surprise) is a joke. And trying to re-sell them is a nightmare sometimes. I can't tell you how many times I took a book back to resell only to be told they don't accept it or they're at the limit for the semester.
(And just a note, I know all the ways to cut down your textbook costs, but that's not the purpose of this rant!). Even thinking of it gets me all ranty and stabby.

What do you think? Do you have any thoughts on my suggestions for cutting costs in favour of part-time students?

3 comments:

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Britt said...

I paid a fortune for school. I had to pay almost double for each half credit because I was charged a clinical fee even though my free labour in the clinic brought in revenue for the university. It makes me stabby too. And don't even get me started on the thousands of dollars I've paid in useless textbooks. I love the 'you can't resell it because we've changed the edition for next year.' Then they tell you that in edition 27, there are some spelling corrections and an addition of a half page to page 1192. :|

I definitely think any discount would be a good thing, but where I went to school, part time and full time students paid the same. I paid around 5000 a semester for school while most people paid about 3000.

Jon said...

Seriously. It makes me so irate that these colleges wouldn't think to provide a discount or an incentive for part-time students. Do they ever sit and think to them selves that perhaps the reason why some students are part-time are because they don't have the money to afford an additional class or two with hundreds of dollars of textbooks to go with them. I will say though, textbooks are obviously ridiculously expensive BUT I was able to find the answer to that problem. Its called http://www.bigwords.com. When I first used it, I was blown away by its easiness. But basically it searches for all the online textbook retailers and rental sites. So if you're searching for a textbook, rather than going to ebay and searching for hours hoping you're finding the best price, bigwords.com does all of that for you. I think you'd appreciate it!