If there’s one thing I’ve always wondered as a student at UR, it’s why our university is so ridiculously expensive. We don’t have good food, most of our housing is old and has mice, and the academic buildings are mostly average-looking. So why does the cost of tuition, room, and board keep increasing every year?

I did a little research to compare UR’s pricing to other schools — specifically Ivy League schools. Ivy League schools are typically more expensive because of their outstanding academics, stunning buildings, and above-average dorms and dining. For example, Princeton University’s tuition rate is $57,410 annually, and their total cost of attendance is $79,540 for 2023. Similarly, tuition at Columbia University and Harvard University also costs around $50,000 to $60,000. 

It’s pretty obvious why Ivy League schools cost so much to attend. They’re ranked the best in the nation for a reason — top-notch academics, facilities, and more. The money students pay to attend those universities goes towards actual improvements — towards better living conditions, maintaining their outstanding academic programs, and hiring highly-qualified professors. 

Now let’s take a look at the cost of UR. With an acceptance rate of about 41% — at least nine times that of any of the universities I mentioned before — tuition costs $60,550 for 2023, with a total cost of attendance at $82,468. Our tuition costs more than Harvard’s and Princeton’s, with the total cost of attendance more than Princeton’s and not much less than Colombia’s. I don’t know about you, but that’s insane to me.

Why is UR priced like an Ivy League university? And what is actually improving as the cost of tuition, room, and board increases each year? When I was a freshman in high school, the total cost of attending UR was around $60,000. I had a teacher who predicted that soon, UR students would be paying around $80,000 to attend the university. And she wasn’t wrong. Who knows — maybe by 2025, we’ll be shelling out $100,000 for the same education and facilities. 

We as students need to raise our voices about the cost of attending UR. We need to demand to know what is improving. We also need to demand tangible progress on issues we’ve voiced out prior, like better food in the dining halls or cleaner and newer dorms with air conditioning. Only when we see such improvements can we understand why UR is so expensive.

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