The Price is not right


Regan Simeon

Digital illustration of a student surrounded by their college cost.

Lindsey Farthing, Photo Editor

Dear out-of-state colleges,

My name is Lindsey Farthing, and I have a bone to pick with you.

As a senior in high school, I am starting to apply to colleges. During this process, I have learned more about the expenses of college and higher education. The farther I look into the financial side of attending an out-of-state university, the more discouraged I get.

As a resident of Kansas, I can attend an in-state university for around $10,000 per year in tuition. However, if I were to go out of state, I would pay $23,000 per year. This number is just the average amount I would have to pay for an out-of- state education in the U.S.

This is ridiculous.

An American could go to college for under $8,500 per year in tuition in France. Similarly, in Spain, an American could go to college for under $5,000 per year in tuition. How is it that one can travel halfway around the world and attend college for less money than if they were to go to an out-of- state university in the United States?

When I bring these numbers up to adults, they tell me I am too young to understand how in-state versus out-of-state costs work, but that is not the case. I understand that since I live in Kansas, my parents pay taxes for Kansas schools and universities.

Since we give Kansas our money, Kansas gives me cheaper college tuition.

I get that.

What I do not understand is how tuition almost doubles when I look at colleges one state away.

How can so many out-of-state colleges charge up to $50,000 a year from their students who just want a college degree?

According to a Georgetown University article, the majority of jobs in the U.S. that have a salary of $75,000 per year or more require college degrees, meaning that college is hardly optional in this day and age.

There is no shame in attending a junior college or a state school such as the University of Kansas or Kansas State University. They are excellent institutions.

However, there is also no shame in wanting more.

So many kids, myself included, work hard during high school to earn good grades, do well on standardized tests and be involved in extracurricular activities.

I would be lying if I said doing all of that wasn’t in part to impress colleges, because it is.

Sadly, even with all of the “resume builder” things I do, it still won’t be enough to help cover the cost of your out-of- state universities.

I will be attending Kansas State University in the fall of 2022. I am content with this option, but I do fear there will always be a part of me that wishes I could have gone somewhere else.

I hope by the time my kids are seniors in high school, this will have changed. I hope they can go wherever they would like, without having to worry about the cost.

After all, it is disheartening to know that so many students cannot attend the colleges of their dreams because of the cost.

Please consider decreasing the cost of out-of-state colleges so that a hard-working Kansas kid like me can go to their dream school — without it costing an arm and a leg.

Not so sincerely,

Lindsey Farthing