The bubble stretches ever thinner
Brown University has increased tuition by 4 percent, to $57,232, for fiscal 2014.
That includes tuition (rising 4.2 percent to $44,608), room and board (rising 3.2 percent to $7,200 and $4,420 respectively), health fee ($690, an increase of $18), recreation fee ($64, unchanged), and student activities fee ($250, an increase of $36).
And this isn’t even all of the charges a Brown scholar can expect. At College Insurrection, we detailed some extras in “Fees Gone Wild“:
Before students even matriculate to campus, they already must pay a few major fees. First, they will encounter the $2,861 health care plan, which they are automatically enrolled in unless they provide proof of adequate heath insurance. Then students are charged a $672 Health Services fee, along with a $214 student activity fee and $64 recreation fee. In addition, students are automatically enrolled in meal plan and housing, which together cost $11,258. Students are not allowed to opt out of the meal plan during freshman year and must remain in student housing at least through sophomore year.
The fees do not end there. If students are lucky enough to get a New Dorm suite or a Young Orchard Apartment, they will feel the sting of a $1,290 suite fee. If students opt to live off-campus (something that must first be approved by Brown, which denies students this privilege despite overcrowded dormitories), they will be charged a $658 non-residence fee, simply for not living in a dorm.
Despite Brown’s openness to academic freedom, it maintains a tight grip on students’ financial freedom.
And if students obtain loans to cover portions of the almost $240,000 charged in obtaining a degree in 4 years (which isn’t even a guarantee), it could jeopardize not only their their finances, but other aspects of their life well beyond their college years.
This Valentine’s Day, it may be good for those looking at high-priced institutions like Brown to consider that “Student Loan Debt is the New Herpes”.
The credit score, once a little-known metric derived from a complex formula that incorporates outstanding debt and payment histories, has become an increasingly important number used to bestow credit, determine housing and even distinguish between job candidates.
It’s so widely used that it has also become a bigger factor in dating decisions, sometimes eclipsing more traditional priorities like a good job, shared interests and physical chemistry. That’s according to interviews with more than 50 daters across the country, all under the age of 40.
But at least Brown’s graduates will have memories of all the fun programs they enjoyed during their college years.