Alex Kent: ‘Working way through college’ relic of the past

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seb_ra seb_ra

Published: 05-15-2024 5:21 PM

Modified: 05-15-2024 7:13 PM


A recent letter writer complains about “today’s snowflake generation pleading for subsidies to support their lifestyle choices,” insisting that young people suck it up and pay for their own college education [“Don’t cancel student debt,” May 13].

The writer seems blissfully ignorant of the inflation rate as it affects college tuition. In 1975 (my first year at Rutgers University in New Jersey), tuition, fees, room, and board came to approximately $1,780 per year. Adjusting for inflation, that comes to around $8,280 in 2024 dollars. At UMass Amherst, tuition, fees, housing, and food costs currently total $33,120 per year, an astounding 400% increase in college costs in constant dollars between 1975 and 2024.

While “working their way through school” might have been realistic for students 50 years ago, it is well-nigh impossible in 2024.

Alex Kent

Amherst

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