Editorial: Insult to injury

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By the time a Rowan University senior is applying to graduate, he or she will have spent almost $60,000, at minimum.

Freshman year costs at least $25,000 for tuition, fees, and room and board. Because students are required to live on campus for two years, that’s $50,000 for the first two years of school, unless a student was qualified and lucky enough to become a Resident Assistant and receive free room and board for his or her sophomore year.

Junior and senior year, students can live off campus, but still pay close to $18,000 for those years, in tuition alone.

Simple addition equates four years of Rowan University to approximately $68,000, excluding those who manage to live on campus all four years of school, or who received an outstanding scholarship. While the number is a rough estimate, it’s still a fairly high sum of money. To put it into perspective, that’s two low-class Mercedes Benzs, paid upfront. While we willingly invest this money to better ourselves, the costs are nothing to blink at.

Yet, when a senior graduates, he or she is required to pay a $65 processing fee for his or her graduation application. Compared to the $68,000 spent on school, $65 isn’t a lot of money; however, a lot of students are paying for school on their own.

As most students know, jobs at college or in the neighboring town are few and far between, or just pay enough to cover food costs. Some students have multiple jobs to cover their rent and utilities. Factor in textbooks, car insurance and other living costs, $65 becomes a lot of money and time; these students also are classified as full-time students.

For a student who has devoted four years to an education, shouldn’t his or her degree be an award, a congratulations for working hard for four straight years, to not only better his or her life, but the lives of those around them? For $68,000, shouldn’t the proof — a piece of paper — be included the cost?

If a student does not pay the fee, they do not graduate. Four years of hard work and debt is guarded by yet another fee (which is another editorial for another time). It is an insult to injury for hard-working seniors, and while the amount does not seem like a lot to those who have full-time jobs that pay a consistent wage, that is not in the neighborhood of minimum, a degree should be already factored into the cost of attending the university.

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