How increasing non-educational fees (athletics) disproportionately impact lower income students.

by theintrospectivemaster

Mandatory Non-Educational fees/charges and other associated auxiliary costs are aiding in driving the increase in college costs…

These costs disproportionately impact lower income groups.

These costs are often obfuscated resulting in high levels of sorting costs for individuals to disseminate what they are paying for.  

Institutions that charge a high auxiliary fee more often than not do so at diminishing academic standing.

As costs increase, those with less financial means must turn to loan borrowing to afford the associated costs of attending college or a university. In turn, such steep fees can add to the amount of debt a student may incur to attain a college degree or other higher education credentialing.  

“As parents and students struggle to keep up with rising college tuition and take on greater burdens of debt, universities are being challenged to justify the ballooning athletic fees they tack on to the bill.

In the 2010-11 academic year, the 227 public institutions in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association collected more than $2 billion in athletic fees from their students — or an average of more than $500 per enrollee — according to research by Jeff Smith at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

These fees, which can exceed $1,000 a year, are often itemized as a “student activity” or “general” expense. That may explain why separate research, by David Ridpath of Ohio University, found that students were only dimly aware of the extent of the fees, and weren’t pleased once they found out how much they were paying.

Worse yet, institutions with high proportions of poorer students carrying substantial education debt appeared to be charging the highest fees. While all students must pay the costs of maintaining athletic programs, few actually benefit from the services they subsidize. In this sense, the fees are comparable to a regressive tax — and one that is more onerous for lower-income students than for the more affluent, who are able to attend schools where athletic fees are lower.”

The authors identify that in order to achieve middle class income status it has become increasingly reliant on achievement of a Bachelors degree to reach such income classification; however, to get that bachelors degree, it is increasingly becoming reliant that students have to borrow to attend college to get the desired degree and the associated prospects that entail achieving a degree (i.e. higher income) (Casselman, 2012).

The problem with borrowing for education to a high degree can have impacts that may limit a student’s ability to purchase a home, choose a career, or raise children and start a family due to the income burdens that are placed upon a student flowing completion of their higher education completion. These results are similar to the findings reported by Stone, Horn & Zukin (2012), Kamentez (2006), Linfield (2010) and Pew research center (2011) (Casselman, 2012).

Courtesy of Bloomberg

Courtesy of The Center for Public Administration and Policy