Monday, November 10, 2008
The Cost of an Education
I registered for my GRE a few days ago, and it was $140.00 for the computer-based test. I am applying to three schools, and the average application fee is $50.00. Since none of them are in the same university system, I can't pay one application fee, so that's another $150.00. So far, including the postage for mailing what isn't covered by the online application (letters of recommendation, transcripts), the cost of applying alone is over $300.00. That doesn't even cover any of my tuition or fees. Now, I recognize that I am applying to three distinguished and somewhat competitive programs (although my field-- librarianship-- isn't that competitive, compared to say, business, or medical or law school), in three of the most expensive cities in the United States (L.A., Seattle, and New York). I did complete my undergrad work in another incredibly expensive city-- San Francisco-- which left me with a little chunk of student loans (though I was lucky enough to have several scholarships and grants, which offset the cost a little). The minimum I will pay for my masters is $20,000, not including cost of living. Getting educated is friggin' expensive! And with the economy crumbling, options like federal student loans and private loans are getting harder and harder to secure-- especially for those with fair or poor credit, or large credit balances-- like undergrad student loans! It's a vicious cycle.