I am currently a college student and I have overall not had a grand experience. Luckily, I am near graduation and I am more than excited to be done with school. Keep in mind that these reasons may not apply to your school. I am only speaking from experience. Once again, this is also not to discourage anyone from going to college. Getting an education is important but I am just pointing out the flaws that need to be improved.
It’s Just Business
More and more I am feeling like the goal by the universities is to suck as much money out of you rather than to provide the best experience and education possible. It almost feels as though they want to keep you trapped here as long as they can to keep taking more and more money.
Higher Tuition, Less Sections
Every semester, the tuition at my school goes up. That is to be expected with anything as prices in many things are going up all the time too. The biggest issue with that is that you are no longer necessarily paying more for higher quality. You aren’t even paying more for the same quality. In my experience, through these years, it is becoming harder and harder to get into the classes I want because of increased downsizing in professors and/or sections.
Based on my plan, I could have graduated in 3 years if I had been able to get into all of the classes that I wanted to get into. Unfortunately for me, as a Communication Major, it is a very popular major so many core classes have one or only a few sections available. Near the end of a semester, you are given an appointment time to register for your classes for the following semester. My plan has always been to put all of my desired classes in my cart and to be spam clicking “check out” one minute before my selected time. Recently, it has been working to my benefit since I am a senior, but in the past many classes were already filled up before I even had a chance to register.
I was not alone. Many people tell you “oh, just go into the class on the first day with an add form! The professors are human! They will understand and add you!” They couldn’t be more wrong. It isn’t even the professor’s fault. Sometimes there is room in the class but the professors are told that they are limited to a cap and they apologize. Other times, I have got to a class where there are 10+ college students sitting the back of the room hoping to add the class. I think that if there are THAT many people trying to add a full class plus long wait lists of over 20 people, then the school needs to make more sections. Cuts should be elsewhere but not from the amount of sections of core classes for popular majors.
Book Store Prices
I understand that they must make money and everyone needs to pay their bills, but the prices for new and used books at the school book stores are outrageous. I highly recommend using Amazon or any other site online to find your books. Do not support the greedy that are over charging.
You may suggest to buy used books. Often times, the company will conveniently have just come out with a “brand new edition” that is not really too different from its previous editions and the schools support it. Many professors are sad and try to fight the power by making the required reading an older edition book but others just force you to buy the newest edition. Books for school are NOT cheap.
Flawed And Corrupt
My school has actively been fighting “grade inflation.” Because of grade inflation, many refuse to give As out except to only the top students. While it is good to set a high standard to push students to do their absolute best, I have personally found some professors take it too far and give great work average or only decent grades.
Other professors will give better grades to students that they like more. (This could apply to any teacher at any grade level, though.)
I have always been an A student in English, but as soon as I took my first English course at my school, they talked about “grade inflation.” In fact, the rules at my school were that the professor does not grade your paper, but rather the English writing staff would. Also, they felt that “red marks” on your paper did not help you improve your essay. I felt that it was an excuse for biased English majors to give whatever grade they felt like giving without being obligated to give reason behind it. They could just disagree with the writer’s opinion and choose to mark it down.
All For a Piece of Paper
That’s right! Thousands of dollars later, you finally get a piece of paper. I personally got my job I have now without a degree. No, the university did not really teach me much. The reason I have a job is because I have been practicing my skills in web designing since I was eleven years old and I worked hard and was persistent. All the university taught me was how to do the very least while still succeeding.
While I may not have had the best experience, I know others that have had far better experiences with college. I do not suggest that you avoid college, but rather go in with this in mind so that you aren’t surprised when it all hits you. While it isn’t “necessary” to have a degree, it certainly doesn’t hurt you and it can only help you. Good luck, and let’s get some changes made to the terrible flaws of the college system.