Why Do We Have To Pay For College? (11 Reasons Why)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

A lot of us still struggle with our student loans, even though we graduated eons ago! Of course, the reason behind these huge loans is that we must pay for our education in the first place.

But why do we have to pay for college? If you’ve ever wondered about the high tuition costs in this country, this guide is here to explain things to you in detail. So, let’s dive right in!

Why Do We Have To Pay For College?

1. Textbooks And Course Material Are Expensive

Ever wondered how much money goes into the process of writing, printing, and distributing textbooks? It’s a scary amount, but that’s not the only reason behind the high price.

Remember that textbooks have a limited market, which is the student population specific to the school. So, in order for the academic author to get revenue, they must raise their book’s prices.

Let’s not forget that the material of those books, and the courses themselves, will come at a price. Therefore, you’ll be trading money for knowledge, which is fair if you ask us.

2. You Pay For Your Professor’s Experience

A professor takes years of education, projects, and honing their academic skills to reach that point where they’re allowed to transfer that knowledge to you.

Of course, that should be rewarded.

The more skilled and accomplished the professors are in a certain college, the more you’ll have to pay to become a student there.

I mean, an internationally-recognized professor with multiple certificates and awards is almost a celebrity. So, it makes sense that they’ll demand higher salaries when they teach in a school.

Part of their salary will come from the tuition fees that students pay. It’s a full circle!

3. College Is An Investment In Your Future

Look at it this way: You pay to get a strong education and develop your skills to build yourself a stable career in the future. It’s a personal investment you’re willing to make to improve your life.

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Since investments need money upfront to bloom later into a flourishing business, college is also considered an investment that a lot of people are willing to make.

After all, college isn’t mandatory. So, you’ll always be free to pursue another path to make a living if you can’t afford to go to college, and it’s worked out for many people!

4. Electricity, Services, And Physical Assets

Think about all those lecture rooms full of furniture, different gathering halls, auditoriums, theaters, bathrooms, etc.

Also, don’t forget all the services available in college, from Wi-Fi access points to heating and conditioning systems. Man, imagine the electricity needed to power up an entire college building!

All those services cost an unbelievable amount of money, which is another reason why we have to pay for college.

5. A College Building Needs Maintenance

With the huge traffic that college buildings are prone to, from students to the teaching staff to other workers, many things can fall apart.

This is why a substantial amount of a college’s finances go into periodic maintenance.

The lighting and sound systems, air conditioning, plumbing, flooring, and others all need to be in top-notch conditions all the time.

Therefore, the higher in quality that all these systems are, the more you should expect to pay for college.

6. Students Should Take College Seriously

Students Should Take College Seriously

While this is an out-of-the-box reason for why we pay for college, it’s still pretty valid. I mean, how many times have we taken things for granted because they were free?

If students pay for their education, they’ll come to realize its importance. As a result, they’ll be more serious about their tasks and assignments, which will ultimately teach them responsibility.

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7. Nothing Comes Without A Price

A general rule in life is that nothing comes without a price, and this naturally applies to college. Besides hard work and dedication to your studies, you must pay for your knowledge with cash!

Just like you’d willingly pay for a Spotify Premium account to get better features, you must pay for college to gain access to elevated career paths.

Sure, persistence can get you so far, but sometimes, money has to enter the equation to get you where you want.

8. Tax Money Isn’t Enough

Since tax money gets us many things for free in the U.S., why does the same not apply to colleges? Well, the answer is simple; colleges require much more money than our taxes cover.

This stems from the fact that going to college is your own choice, so why should everybody’s tax money go into your education?

Instead, taxes go into paying for services that everyone will inevitably use, like public transportation, infrastructure, public schools, and more.

9. There’s A Surge In Demand

Going to college gets more and more popular as an option after school with each passing year. With this increase in demand, colleges must find a way to control the number of their students.

From a completely practical point of view, asking for a price for their educational services is one of the most effective ways that colleges can limit the number of their attendees.

10. Some Degrees Require More Efforts

Careers like medicine, nursing, engineering, and law need serious college students who will do their jobs responsibly in the future. This is because mistakes in these careers can cost lives, resources, and, yes, money!

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Because of their importance to society, colleges where you can get a degree in those fields must charge you a lot of money to guarantee your dedication.

If people don’t work hard to pay for those degrees, they’ll have higher chances of becoming reckless in the future.

11. There Are Other Options

There’s already plenty of help for people who can’t afford to go to private colleges. These options allow said colleges to keep on charging their students for education.

For example, you’ve got partial and full scholarships that can be great ways for students to pursue their dreams.

Also, community colleges don’t cost that much compared to more prestigious universities.

With all these choices available to pick from, there’s no reason for colleges to cut down on resources and staff to reduce their tuition fees.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why college is so hard, why college is so boring, and why college is so stressful.

To Wrap It Up

Why do we have to pay for college? Well, we pay for college to benefit from all its resources like textbooks, the material we’re taught, the experience of our professors, and more.

Plus, your money goes to the upkeep of the college’s buildings, services, and electricity. Despite it being an inconvenience for a huge part of the U.S. population, paying for college is only fair.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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