College tuition

A college is a tertiary institution that confers degree honors on students who successfully complete a learning program. The term college refers to organizations that typically offer diplomas to students upon completion of a structured course. Yet, the phrase is interchangeably used with the term university. Yet, both levels of higher schools play an important role in teaching the necessary skills for various job openings (Warner, 2014). Yet, the rising expense of higher education, inflation, a lack of suitable work possibilities, and graduates' high expectations have provided a platform for weighing the costs versus the advantages. As a result, every conversation that involves the college students who are seeking for different degree awards with prospects of becoming productive citizens, the cost is always a factor worth consideration. There is always that debate on whether one can afford to complete their degree, and if successful, will they find ambitious work to commensurate their chosen field of study and repay exorbitant loans? In the event where the financial capability is available, the prospect of exploring the opportunity cost with regards to whether the college education is relevant to the industrial needs pops-up (Miller, 2017). Besides, it is essential to analyze the existence of bias between the Ivy League universities and community colleges regarding federal grants and scholarships awarded to the students.

The opportunity cost analysis

The students in the various colleges and universities are the decision makers about the post-high school life. The cost of tuition plays a significant role in determining the possibility that an individual will complete his or her college course (Kopp, 2017). The increasing cost of education in tertiary institutions serve as a platform for determining the proportion of monetary resources spent on other activities such as booking of rooms and for semester upkeep. Due to the limited funds available as student loans, a college student has to choose how to spend on purchasing the campus requirements as well as other leisure activities if there is any (Peralta, 2014). As a result, the narrow budgetary terms lead students with no option but to find money from their parents. The college life involves buying meals and attending classes at the expense of engaging in employment activities. Decisions are pivotal in determining the expenditure pattern of the loans. Moreover, the prospect of making decisions to forego some activities in college as necessitated by the fact that different people come from different family backgrounds.

Cost of college and inflation

The cost of college education is on the rise, a fact that has left the majority of the potential college students in the cold. The high cost of college affects the middle and low-class people as they are unable to afford the tuition cost especially the prestigious institutions of higher learning. Although the intellectually gifted students, as well as the talented sportsmen and athletes in most cases, obtain a scholarship to aid their education, the larger portion of the population depends on the loans (Schweitzer, 2017). The ever-increasing cost of goods and services as a result of inflation has underlined the increase in the cost of items such as books, housing, meals and other related expenses. Since inflation weakens the purchasing power of the currency yet the rate of the loans accorded to the students has stagnated, the education costs outweigh the money available for use. The cost of learning in private institutions is higher than in public colleges, and in some cases, it doubles the learning fees charged at public universities (Winter, 2003).

Colleges as a stepping stone

The tertiary institutions play a significant role in ensuring a given individual is at a level where he or she can access postgraduate studies. The postgraduate studies are a platform for widening the job platform with regards to a given profession. In a world where the essence and prestige related to holding a college degree is fast fading, the path to a better lifestyle and a more stable job is perceived to rely significantly on holding a masters' honors (Gutmann, 2008). Though the role played by tertiary institutions is important as far as expanding one's knowledge base, the related costs and the rising education loan interest rates serve as an opportunity cost to the prospect of accessing higher learning opportunity (Peralta, 2014). The scarcity of adequate jobs for the graduates and the availability of the monetary resources required for ensuring a successful completion of the further education programs is a stumbling block to many individuals. Although education is power, does it guarantee a productive post-college life?

College cost and the job market

The elastic nature of the job market has played a significant role in ensuring the graduates and soon-to graduate students to become flexible as a way of surviving in the unpredictable yet rigid work platform. As a result, the tertiary level of education has paved the way for an increase in the standard of innovation and advancement of technology around the globe (Warner, 2014). Besides, the increase in flexibility patterns of the graduates and college students has ensured timely horning of skills and behaviors suitable for surviving in a given work environment. The market dynamics have emphasized the need for possessing a post-secondary degree as a prerequisite for the modern-day jobs (Peralta, 2014). Hence, underscoring the need for having the college education for the ever-growing global population. Although most people project an increase in the amount of employment available at the end of the year 2018, it is unlikely that the job opportunities will satisfy the expected number of graduates.

Despite the struggles faced by the students in various colleges, the costs incurred concerning the tertiary studies is worth the expected benefits. According to research, the graduates at the age of twenty-five to thirty-five years are making a relatively large amount of income as compared to their high school counterparts. Moreover, the college students are entitled to grants and aids that are not paid back (Peralta, 2014). Although need and performance provide most of the subsidies, they have played a vital role in easing the monetary burden on both the students and their families. Similarly, the amount of money by the students out of pocket is less compared to the amount paid by the government about their education. The unemployment pattern exhibited has prompted the belief that college education is not worth its related cost (Warner, 2014). As a result, governments and other institutions have devised a plot to ensure the subsidization of the expenses incurred with regards to tertiary level learning.

Federal grants bias between the Ivy League and Community Colleges

The cost of college education is a controversial issue given the rate of inflation on the cost of teaching related commodities and services. The existence of bias in the provision of federal grants and aids is perplexing. The Ivy League colleges have the privilege of getting more grants and aids as compared to their community counterparts (Warner, 2014). The Ivy League Colleges incorporate an insignificant fraction of the learners from poor backgrounds who are entitled to paying the entire college tuition and related fees. Despite the hard work embraced by the low-class families about the education of their children, the prospect of awarding more grants to the Ivy colleges is irrational while the poor population is unable to meet the tertiary education expenses with ease fully. As a result, the learners in the two groups of tertiary institutions fail to compete favorably (Gutmann, 2008).

The provision of more grants and aids to the Ivy League Colleges has played a significant role in their capacity and capability to attract the intelligent and talented students from middle-class families by providing them with scholarships. The community colleges have a high population of learners who hail from low-income families who are needy in several aspects such as the capacity to fend for their food, clothing, books and other resources (Winter, 2003). Therefore, it is important for the government to grant the community colleges and the students more funds to enable them to cater for their needs adequately. The learners in the Ivy League Colleges benefit a lot as they are paid eight-times the amount their colleagues receive in the work study forums (Kopp, 2017).

In conclusion, colleges and universities play a significant role in ensuring post high school students get an opportunity to attain the required knowledge for related work professions. Nevertheless, the increasing cost of college education serves as a mirage about the expected benefits. Despite the rising inflation rates, the loans granted to the learners has remained constant to a greater degree. As a result, the majority of the college students are forced to pay out of pocket to ensure they get the opportunity to continue with their tertiary level education. Provision of more grants to the Ivy League Colleges as compared to their community counterparts has served to ensure the learners in the two sets of institutions are unable to compete favorably.


Gutmann, A. (2008, September 23). Why elite colleges have sweetened their student-aid packages. Retrieved from Chronicle of Higher Education:

Kopp, J. (2017, March 29). Critics to Ivy Leagues: Taxpayer gravy train needs to end. Retrieved from Fox News: www/

Miller, H. (2017, September 14). Regional Insights: Do benefits outweigh cost of college? . Retrieved from Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Peralta, K. (2014, June 24). Benefits of College Still Outweigh Costs, Fed Study Says. Retrieved from US News:

Schweitzer, K. (2017, June 29). How Much Does College Cost? Will you be able to afford college tuition. Retrieved from

Warner, J. (2014, April 10). Do the Benefits of a College Education Outweigh the Cost. Retrieved from The Washington Post:

Winter, G. (2003, November 9). Rich coleges Recieving RichestShare of U.S. Aid. Retrieved from New York Times: -richest-share-of-us-aid.html

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