Stop complaining. Too many of you protest that the cost of education at UR is too high. Bear with it because it is partially your fault.

Many can argue that tuition has increased at lightning speed in the past two decades. UR, like many other institutions of higher education, experiences tuition increases of about four or five percent each year, nearly twice the annual inflation rate.

To get an idea of how much tuition has increased, look back at the year 1997. UR’s tuition with room and board totaled $28,000. Today, that number has increased to nearly $42,000. That’s a 46 percent increase in a matter of eight years. Take a pack of gum, which was sold in 1997 at a quarter per pack of five pieces. Today, the price has increased only by 20 percent, hiking up to 30 cents.

It would be incorrect to solely attribute this phenomenon to the dynamics of supply and demand. The number of students applying for UR has increased every year, but tuition has risen concurrently. According to the law of supply, we should instead experience a decrease in the price of our education. Apparently, this is not the case.

Let us students take the blame for it. As you may already know, room and board has also increased with tuition. Many students have developed the mentality that we should not relent on saving our dormitory resources. We are paying a ton of money to go to this school, so why not use as much as we can? The answer is that doing so will continually raise our dormitory fees.

Leaving the unnecessary lights on and letting the water run while brushing your teeth add to the cost of living. Combine that with rising energy prices and Residential Life is forced to jack up the price of our dorms even more.

Why is board so expensive as well? You might think that Aramark is evil and all they care about are profits, but this is not the entire explanation. Their costs have also increased, again partially because of you. Many students waste food and steal utensils and napkins from the dining centers, adding to Aramark’s bill.

We should expect another increase in tuition in March. The Students for Social Justice recently helped UR union-affiliated employees with benefits such as higher wage and continued health coverage. With health care costs rising, UR is now responsible, yet again, for higher costs and some of the burden will be placed on us.

Although there are many other causes of rising tuition and fees such as the growth of professor salaries and rising health care costs, we are responsible for the rising price of education as well. Think about this the next time you contemplate about whether to buy a conventional or fluorescent light bulb for your room.

Lee can be reached at alee@campustimes.org.



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