Emma Lord
March 30, 2015 12:30 pm

Can we stop and just consider for a moment how much money $71,000 is? You could buy the fanciest car you’ve ever seen. You could buy 71,000 McDoubles off the dollar menu. In some places, you could buy an entire house. But for thousands of unhappy New York University students, that ridiculously large sum just became the cost of their tuition — one year of tuition, that is. Some basic math will show us that that’s a whopping $284,000 for the four years it takes to get a degree, and the worse news is, school officials only plan to hike up the tuition every passing year. One student in the incoming freshman class decided enough was enough, and after NYU drastically raised tuition again this year, Nia Mirza began a Change.org petition for NYU to lower its tuition rates.

The high school senior, who was admitted into the school this Spring, was stunned to find after she had budgeted the cost of her education that it made a leap from $64,000 to $71,000 per year. Based on last year’s tuition statistics, the private school based in New York’s Lower East Side now boasts the highest tuition rate in the country, possibly by a margin of thousands of dollars.

Mirza was offered some form of financial aid, but not near enough to cover the tuition hike. “Good education is a right to all regardless of financial strength. We are against the amount of debt that students are forced to incur while studying at NYU,” she explains in the petition. “We support education for all and we wish to graduate debt-free like students from many other top-tier colleges. We demand a drop in NYU’s tuition fee.”

She found that she is far from alone in her concerns. Not only have other members of the incoming class of 2019 rallied behind her, but she has garnered a lot of support from current students at the school as well. The petition already has 3,552 signatures, and an outpouring of students expressing their concerns — students who won’t be able to attend the school, students already in massive debt, and even those who are now trying to transfer out to avoid the tuition hike impacting them any further.

NYU has acknowledged the petition, but barely. They claimed that the rise in tuition is within 3% of last year’s tuition, which justifies it by collegiate standards. Despite the massive pressure from students, they have no intention of lowering the tuition back to its 2014-2015 rate, or even compromising with something in between.

I dunno, NYU. Seems like a bad idea to keep biting the hand that feeds you. A good thing to keep in mind if you’re school shopping this season: Sometimes even your dream college isn’t worth the price tag. You might find you’re just as happy somewhere else, and a lot more stress and debt-free in the long run.

(Images from here and here.)

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