The Truth About College Costs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Many parents are extremely concerned about the rising cost of college tuition. "Why," parents cry out "does college have to be so expensive?"

I believe I know the source of our parents' misery, the cause of this inflation. Colleges are expensive because of junk mail. That's right, junk mail. Judging by the amount I've received, colleges must spend enough money printing these to pay off the national debt several times over (or a whole lotta Dove Bars). Who was to know that when you filled in that little box on your SAT form which said you wanted to participate in the "Student Search" program, you volunteered to have five tons of postcards, viewbooks, and applications dumped into your lap? I have received letters saying that they are considering contacting me. I have received letters asking if I want to be contacted. I have received letters saying "Why the heck haven't you answered us yet? What are we, chopped liver?"

I must have hundreds of little picture books, all of which contain pictures of rolling lawns, a blue summer sky, and a humungous lake right on campus. That's fine, until you actually visit the campus and discover that it's located in the middle of a slum, and the rolling lawn, blue sky, etc. were all part of the dean's backyard. If they had sent me five bucks for each brightly colored, plastic postcard I've received, I probably could afford to pay for college all by myself.

I've received three separate applications/infobooks from Brown University (if anyone needs a spare). The best piece of mail that I've received was a viewbook from Deep Springs College in California, a lavishly produced booklet with great pictures of the scenic desert campus. Upon reading, you discover that the student body consists of 48 guys who work on the ranch owned by the college. 48 guys! Why do they need to mail this randomly across the country? Are they trying to attract the hordes of future cowboys residing here in suburban Massachusetts? They could have phoned all their prospective students personally, and maybe bought them each a Big Mac.( Or a "Whopper." Whatever).

Well, it's all a bit much for me. I say if you really want me to come to your college: Send Money! n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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