Advantages & disadvantages of rising college tuition

No one wants to pay more for their college education than they would have years earlier. Unfortunately, this is a virtual inevitability. Indeed, there are plenty of disadvantages to the sad news about rising tuition. However, there are also advantages that can soften the blow to your wallet just a little.

Although there's little that we can do to decrease tuition, it may help to understand the pros and cons of the cost of higher education.

Disadvantage: Yearly Cost Increases

College tuition costs are generally higher each year. Sometimes, state schools must vote in an increase, and this happens every few years. According to the College Board, tuition at a private four-year college in 2008-2009 was more than £16,250 per year, an increase of 5.9 per cent. The same figure at a public four-year college was £4,280, up 6.5 per cent in that time. This means that more money is coming out of your pocket -- or is added to your student loans -- to pay for college tuition.

Advantage: Staff and Faculty Need to Eat, Too

To ensure that your college is staffed with good professors and good people, the administration needs to pay them properly. Professors dedicate years to their education so they will be in a position to earn the money they deserve. According to the Yale Daily News, rising salaries and health care costs were big factors in a tuition hike. The advantage? Yale will retain excellent staff that might otherwise seek employment elsewhere.

Disadvantage: Higher Student Loan Debt

Although there's a six-month grace period after you graduate, you'll have to pay back your student loans. Higher tuition means that if you don't pay anything while you're in school, the principal on your loans will be higher. This increases the amount of interest you pay and increases the amount of time you're paying off those loans.

Advantage: Motivation

If you are paying a great deal of money for something, you are much more likely not to take it for granted. When a school charges more, the average student finds it harder to simply coast because of the high cost. Further, students who don't want to work hard are more likely to attend a cheaper school. This creates an atmosphere in which everyone is working hard, resulting in a more prestigious school in the end.

Disadvantage: Discouragement

Conversely, the sticker shock students experience can dissuade them from considering college in the first place. What is often forgotten is that most students don't pay the listed price. As MSNBC notes, just over half of all students attend four-year schools with listed tuition under £6,500 per year. Most students, thanks to grants and other kinds of scholarships, don't pay the full amount.