Higher education cost in USA has been growing faster than inflation, due to which the student debt amount has reached $1.3 trillion. The long term trend shows that college tuition has been rising almost six percent above the rate of inflation. Currently around 70 % of college graduates have approximately $ 30,000 and above in student debt. In 1992, it was just one-third of that average.
Why the college tuition is increasing so dramatically? One of the driving factor is America’s favorite pastime - Football and other college sports. Yes, you read it correctly. Sports and athletics which brings pride to the college contributes to a great extent in leaving college graduates debt stricken for rest of their lives.
Since year 2000 college tuition of state universities has risen on average, about 30%. In states with strong football tradition college tuition has increased upto even 65%. These high student fees are used mainly by athletic departments. Statistics shows that an average student will use almost $ 6000 of student loan aid to pay for athletic facilities at their university, which is two thirds of what their entire college debt would have been 20 years ago.
According to a Washington Post examination of financial records at 52 public universities, students at 32 schools paid a combined $125.5 million in athletic fees in the year 2014. Below are some more examples of money-losing programs that increases the financial burden on students:
The University of Cincinnati and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, added $6 million and $1.2 million, respectively, this year to prop up their already heavily subsidized sports programs.
According to the Knight Commission Division I schools with football spent $91,936 per athlete in 2010, seven times the spending per student of $13,628. Division I universities without football spent $39,201 per athlete, more than triple the average student spending.
That is not all. At many of America’s largest public universities, athletic departments which are already making millions every year from television contracts, ticket sales and endorsements continue to charge all its students for the sake of intercollegiate sports and wish of college authorities to bring the college in light. Students have to borrow hefty amounts and pay for something they may never use during their college years. If the same trend continues will America ever come out of the student loan burden?