Editorial: Baylor, let us know that the price is worth it

College is expensive. Private colleges are even more expensive.

As Baylor undergraduates, we must feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, rent apartments and purchase textbooks. We pay dues for extracurricular activities, pay for parking decals, and gas up our vehicles all by ourselves…or with the loving assistance of our parents. Regardless, somebody’s pocket is taking a major hit. But as tuition and fees continue to increase, are we really reaping any benefits, or just paving the way for future debt to ensue?

Baylor tradition and pride stems from the history of its standing as a southern, elitist institution, founded on the principles of academic excellence, Christian sentiment, and a commitment to developing student character by providing a means to discover intellectual, moral, and spiritual truth.

In an article written by the Baylor Alumni Association in 2008, students said their educational experience at Baylor was “excellent” and that they felt “challenged,” and thus, expertly prepared for the work world because of the enriching educational experience, collaborative learning, supportive campus environment and student-faculty interaction they encountered at Baylor.

However, though these students professed their utmost appreciation for the education they received, many students have expressed and will continue to express their post-graduate struggle with heavy debt and jobs that won’t allow us to pay it off in a timely manner. Herein lies one of the problems.

If debt was heavy for graduates in 2008 and tuition continues to rise after the 2012-13 academic year, what will debt for Baylor students amidst these rising rates be at their time of graduation?

Furthermore, though Baylor says 90 percent of students receive some form of aid from a wide range of sources, how much of a difference will that really make if tuition slowly, but surely, continues to rise?

Consider this some food for thought.

Now, let’s break this down into “why should I care about this?” terms. If you are an undergraduate taking 15 hours this Fall 2012 semester, guess how much you, or your parents, are paying for those credit hours you get after sitting in on that truly riveting lecture you have at the crack of dawn?—roughly $1,019.53. If you were an undergraduate in Fall 2008, you, or your parents, would have paid roughly $ 788.80 per hour for the same class. That’s a $230 difference per credit hour. So, the cost was $6,900 less for tuition if you went to Baylor during the 2008-09 year.

This is just for tuition; fees are a whole different ballgame.

If we look at what is driving the cost increase up year by year since 2008, it seems the main arguments include the need for cutting-edge classroom technology, professor salaries, and the expectations of prospective students.

This notion ties directly back into Baylor tradition and pride, as the hallmark of the Baylor education encompasses these very things.

But as undergraduate students, we should beg some questions: Has has campus technology really been improving since 2008 or just gotten flashier? Is it necessary to raise or even maintain tuition rates to project a certain image? Is the quality of professorship enhancing significantly?

In essence, what is the truth and impact behind the change? If we felt convinced that we were reaping the benefits of tuition increase, we wouldn’t have bothered writing this editorial.

As Baylor undergraduates we should do what Baylor asks us to do and “rise up” to find out what’s up.

This way we will feel more secure in the worth of our education and feel supported by the institution that is laying the foundation for our future.