The Cost of Uncertainty

Elizabeth Pearl Corey, Editor

In this day and age it appears that absolutely everything costs at least one pretty penny—or more than 9,000 extra pretty pennies. What could the price of a U.S. college be? As almost everyone knows, it’s in the tens of thousands for only the tuition per semester, and one could buy a private island with that kind of cash. If that isn’t enough, higher education organizations appear to be gobbling up more of unsuspecting students’ money by charging for student applications. However, applications shouldn’t cost a thing.

Here’s why applications are basically bought: Colleges are making students pay for all of the processing and handling that the applications require and the time it takes to go through them. Universities—particularly private ones, especially when finding funds from generous donations—should not make things more complicated for blooming adults who are going to be out on their own for the first time. Students should not be paying for something so risky. Paying for college applications does not guarantee acceptance into the college, and there are no refunds for students who are turned away. In this sense, the whole system could be considered theft considering the fact that students are having large sums of money taken away from them to basically get put into a pricey lottery for something that they can already barely even afford (while the institutions are practically swimming in cash) with nothing given to them if they are rejected, except for disappointment and a fickle financial situation.

Thankfully, there are ways to get around this scandal. Many colleges are offering reduced or eliminated prices for online applicants. There are also a large number of organizations that are beginning to offer the forms for free, or reduced, to snail-mail applicants. This is good news and revolutionary for the not-yet college freshman. Both offers are worth looking into. Before applying, conduct a search on deals that higher education institutions offer and on the application policies. A great deal of money can be saved from just a little time spent on research.

Older teenagers and young adults already have quite a lot of things to deal with, and a large portion of those things are of financial and academic origin. It’s imperative for them to make as many right moves as possible in the chess world of bills and coins. Especially when debuting in a hard cash, check, and credit world should students make all the right money moves. Check please, check mate.