University fees: facing a financial monster | Teens
As fall approaches each year, a new class of high school students anxiously prepares for battle; submit applications, review essays and apply for scholarships to take on the first intimidating monster of adulthood: college. And while parents and grandparents forged the need to go to college in the minds of students from an early age, college wasn’t the same financial freak when they attended it as it did. today.
Financial news site GoBankingRates conducted a study on the average cost of attending a four-year college adjusted for value for money in 2020, with results much to the chagrin of younger generations. Factoring in tuition, room and board, and other student expenses for the four years, baby boomers paid an average of $ 39,780, millennials were billed around $ 70,000, while Gen Z students would have to shell out an astounding $ 90,875 for a degree. . In other words, the Baby Boomers faced off against the Rabbits while the Gen Z members are tasked with defeating Goliath.
While many young students face the highest university prices ever, according to Forbes, many colleges offer significant financial aid for seniors who want to upgrade and increase their college degrees or are attending college for the first time. Twenty-two states in the United States offer free college for seniors in any state or public university, and many other states offer significantly reduced prices.
Of course, there are different requirements varying from state to state, including the age that a person must be to qualify to apply for these programs. Continuing education students must also go through the same application process as all other students to be accepted, so that they are not advantaged over other applicants solely because of their age. For the benefit of younger applicants, schools offering these programs typically wait until the second week of classes before admitting seniors to ensure that there is sufficient space available. Therefore, younger students are given priority because their enrollment determines the number of continuing education students that schools are able to accept.
New Mexico isn’t one of the states that offers free college for seniors, but it does offer reduced tuition fees for seniors interested in attending school. At the University of New Mexico, people aged 65 and over have the option of paying only $ 5 per credit hour, but their ability to take certain courses depends on the availability of classroom space, and they are limited to only 10 one-time credit hours.
In comparison, all other students attending UNM with resident tuition pay $ 82 per credit hour, and those paying out-of-state tuition pay $ 228 per credit hour.
According to a continuing education representative at UNM who asked not to be identified by name, “a lot of students are interested and benefiting” from the program because they either want to stay sharp in a competitive workplace, either need something to occupy their retirement time or just love lifelong learning.
While this program is a victory for seniors who want to continue their education, it is not as popular with the rest of the student body. Alannah Trujillo, a sophomore student at the University of New Mexico, disagrees with the program, saying that “younger students don’t have or are just starting to establish financially. [themselves], Again [they are] would have to pay huge sums more than those who have had their whole life to build a career and a stable income. “
Although current students and students who plan to attend college in the next few years may be angry that they did not receive the same financial assistance as the elderly, it can also be argued that the lower cost incentive for older students is not a significant threat. younger long-term students. Opportunities and career opportunities for younger students may not be hampered by older students as they are past retirement age and will not attempt to enter the workforce with the rest of their promotion .
Although opinions may differ on how the state regulates tuition fees for the elderly, the governor’s office has set its sights on the possibility of a “free college” for all students in the next session. legislative. With already considerable student loan debts growing steadily, free and reduced tuition fees for all people of all ages would provide an opportunity for all students wishing to pursue higher education.