Yes, summer job paid tuition back in ’81, but then we got cheap


Yes, summer job paid tuition back in '81, but then we got cheap | Local News | The Seattle Times

Today? At $10 an hour you’d have to work 1,250 hours to cover the UW’s $12,500 tuition (more, once you take out taxes). In a 12-week summer, that’s more than 100 hours a week.

What really made me feel ancient is that the 1981 UW student guide shows the Med school charged only $1,029 a year back then. Today: $28,040!
Now, I didn’t go to the UW. But I’m going down Husky memory lane because last week The Seattle Times featured a crop of harried UW students looking rueful and broke. The story said skeptical state legislators often say how “they worked their way through college. And then they ask: Why don’t students do that today?”
Of all our delusions, we old farts cling to this bootstrap one the most. We worked our way up on sweat and chicken grease, we say. Can’t this generation? What’s wrong with them?

What’s wrong is that after we got ours, we cut it off for them.

The reason a summer at KFC could pay for a year of UW med school in 1981 isn’t that we were so hardworking and industrious. It’s that taxpayers back then picked up 90 percent of the tab. We weren’t Horatio Algers. We were socialists.
Today, the public picks up only 30 percent of UW tuition, and dropping.

How we milked the public university system in this state and then starved it will go down as the great badge of shame of my generation and the one before mine, the baby boomers. Affordable college made us. Once made, we wouldn’t pay even a two-cent per can soda-pop tax to give that same gift to anybody else.

So why isn’t higher education free?


The same reason that nothing else (including K-12 public education) is: You don’t get something for nothing. And when you get the government involved, you can count on it ultimately costing a lot more…


Free? Nothing is free.


Except that it cost a lot less back when the government was involved. I should think providing the labor force with education a much more effective method of job creation than this trickle down business.


All I saw from the main forum page was “Yes, summer job paid…” and it made me hopeful… :frowning:


Dude no worries, it’s only 100 hours a week. That leaves what, 4 for sleeping? Almost 3 REM cycles.


Demand for UW goes up, teachers and other staff require more pay to meet the demand, infrastructure costs go up, and students end up paying more for that UW brand name. Universities are brands. You can find a cheaper alternative or work more to pay the difference.


Except that quality of education does not increase with any necessary correlation to demand. In my experience at least, rising admissions means not an expansion of infrastructure but that every double dorm room is now a triple, 300 person lectures are now 500 people. One should think that if students are sharing the resources they pay for with more people, those resources cost less. Instead those diminished resources cost every student more and more as tuition rises yet again with every coming year.


[quote=“JStang, post:3, topic:39938”]
Free? Nothing is free.
[/quote]The only thing free is advice and that too can come at a price. Otherwise nothing is free because some where some one is paying for it.


You missed the important factor: UW is a brand. Quality doesnt have to improve, just perception, which can either be a cause or an effect of demand.


Right, and that’s why the socialism of the Soviet Union has made them such a bang-up success that stands to this day, and America’s capitalism brought it to ruin and is only being healed by socialism… :coffee_spray:


Communism was at best a bastardization of socialism. True socialism I think has yet to be given a real trial, although some countries are taking steps in the right direction.


Whether you call it communism or socialism, it still has the same fatal flaw: In order to redistribute the wealth, you have to have officials in a position of power for that very purpose. Does it totally elude you how easily that can be abused (pretty much guaranteed), or how perilous it is to make people so dependent on the government?