College Costs Continue to Rise; ESU is No Exception

By Kendrick Diaz
SC Staff Writer

Because tuition has increased from last semester, returning college students know that attending college is only becoming more expensive. Per annum, ESU’s tuition is $9,376 for Pennsylvania residents—and $2,034 of that comes just from fees!

Out-of-state students pay even more. According to the College Board, they pay almost $20,000 to study here, and that does not even take room and board into account.

This revelation can be disheartening, especially considering that ESU is supposed to be the “affordable” school. However, compared to other institutions of higher learning, that statement unfortunately holds true. Other colleges’ tuitions and fees in Pennsylvania and around the country are even more exorbitant in bleeding their students’ pockets.

According to College Data, the average price—including both tuition and fees—for a public university is $8,893 for in-state students and $22,203 for those out-of-state. This makes the cost of attending ESU slightly above average for those in-state and slightly below average for those out-of-state.

Unfortunately, compared to other Pennsylvania public universities, we students all are paying a little bit more. Kutztown University only charges $8,833 for Pennsylvania residents per year, but those out-ofstate pay $19,063.

At the very least, ESU is more affordable than Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which charges $9,470 and $20,965 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. We all should be very thankful that our tuition at ESU—for us in-staters, at least—is only $94 cheaper than IUP’s for our wonderful education.

But at least we are not paying as much as students attending Pennsylvania’s state-related universities such as Temple, Penn State, and University of Pittsburgh. Temple’s students pay $14,696 in tuition per year for those in-state. Out-of-state students get slapped in the face with $24,722 in tuition per year.

The cost of attending college continues to get higher. In-state students at Penn State pay $17,502 per year for their education—just slightly cheaper than what out-of-state students at ESU pay—and out-of-state students pay a whopping $30,452 for a Penn State education.

University of Pittsburgh charges $17,772 and $28,168 for in-state and out-of-state students per annum respectively. Compared to Penn State, instate students pay slightly more while out-of-state students pay slightly less. Nonetheless, all three state-related schools are very expensive options for students, and tuition alone does not even take into account the cost of living at or near the college.

That being said, ESU’s average room and board costs are lower than average. According to College Data, the average cost of living on campus is $9,500 at public schools. ESU even beats Kutztown and IUP in this area. Kutztown’s average cost to live on campus is $8,430, while IUP’s is $11,290. Those are exorbitant for a public university.

Being a public institution, ESU’s room and board is obviously cheaper than those of the state-related institutions. On average, the room and board costs at Temple, Penn State, and University of Pittsburgh are $10,738, $10,520, and $10,800 respectively.

Having transferred from Temple, I must note that for a freshman, Temple’s average cost for room and board is misleading at best. Once Morgan Hall was built, many freshmen lived in Morgan Hall South. Unfortunately for them, even though South’s apartments have refrigerators and stoves, as freshman they are required to have a meal plan. That costs about $3,500 more on average and is in addition to the almost $11,000 they pay to live there.

All in all, ESU—sans textbooks, personal expenses, and travel, all of which are incredibly variable depending on how textbook-savvy one is and how much money one likes to burn—costs around $17,356. That is just $1,000 short of the average cost of public universities, which is around $18,393. Kutztown’s average total cost is cheaper by just $100.

Compared to the average total cost of its competitors, ESU is generally cheaper. Every other aforementioned university’s total cost exceeds $20,000 by far—and these are institutions related to the state.

Private universities cost substantially more. On average, they tend to cost $40,000 or more. So going to private universities is only worth it if one either has the money to spend or receives a scholarship. Of course, one can also take out the necessary loans to finance the cost if attending a private institution really is that important.

Although textbooks often cost around $1,000 per year, one can save a lot of money by buying them used and from Amazon and/or other sites. Also, since custom textbooks are usually synthesized from other textbooks (in my experience, especially the loose-leaf ones), buying the textbooks where the original information came from can also save one a lot of money—and the original sources provide more information, as well.

The cost of attending college is expensive, but if one is really serious about her or his education, then the cost is worth it. Otherwise, it can be a very expensive party, and anyone would hate to be jobless with no way to repay large amounts in student loans just for going to college.

Email Kendrick at:
kdiaz4@live.esu.edu

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