Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Greedy, Greedy Universities

This story sickens me. (See link)

The University of Alabama is currently running a fundraising campaign directed at undergraduate students in order to fund some student scholarships.

Don't get me wrong; it's not a bad cause.

But the university soliciting students for money? Have they no shame? They already get thousands upon thousands of dollars from their students every year, and yet they seem to think that the students have extra money just sitting around? Are they even remembering how much they've raised tuition in the last few years?

A big part of this problem is that the schools really, really like spending and don't understand restraint. Let's take a look at ISU for example.

In the last few years, ISU has renovated one academic building and one dormitory, and built two completely new buildings. Tuition has gone up while state budgets have gone down. Where does ISU get this money?

Well, one of the new buildings, our brand new business building, was paid for by a grant from State Farm. Okay, that's fine. The new performing arts center, on the other hand, is still being paid for. Students no longer have free admission to any musical performance (although they never had free admission to a theatrical performance). They pay the same fee as anyone else to get into these shows.

How ridiculous! My student fees already go towards the use of university facilities, and I still have to pay for admission to shows? *Grumble, grumble* . . .

How about more examples? Well, when the university golf course was fixed up a few years back, I'm told student admission (admission? they still had to pay to get in?) tripled. Yikes. That's ridiculous. Or, most glaring of all, the university rec. center. Now, most universities have nice, expansive workout facilities that their students can use for free. ISU, on the other hand, charges $50/semester for students to use the rec. center, which is constantly overcrowded. Unless, of course, they want to use the workout rooms in the basement of their respective dorm. You have to live in that dorm, of course, to use such facilities (effectively giving the finger to off campus students), but don't let that stop you. You get two exercise bikes and a set of free weights for your trouble down there. Oh, and don't forget the benches. They include a couple of benches, too.

What is the bottom line? The universities are addicted to spending. They spend and spend and spend on things that may be justifiable expenditures, but probably not in the face of budgetary restrictions. So, to fix that problem, they make long-term payment plans, fleecing the students and lowering the quality of the collegiate experience. The University of Alabama shows no difference in their behavior with this SPIRIT campaign.

If any readers are looking for a college to attend, the use of your student fees towards free admission to university facilities is a big plus. Be sure to ask about that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so cool. Will you be my new boyfriend? -Cherry Spleen
PS- Is it a problem that I am also addicted to spending?