By Ky Anh Mai
About 100 students walked around the 1st floor College Fair on Wednesday, October 12 at 10 A.M, gathering information about the transfer process to their next university. This large group of students expressed concern about transferring to a four year university after completing their two year degree at a community college. International students walked around the hall talking with university recruiters and reading their pamphlets. Many students collected leaflets from Seattle Pacific University, University of Washington, and others while trying to calculate the cost of tuition for the next two years. They were especially concerned about the 8 to 10 percent increase in the cost of tuition at a four year university, in addition to the four or five percent increase in cost of room and board. This may prevent some students from continuing their education.
“The rising cost of tuition and loans for university will cause me to drop out of college. Of course I love college, I am receiving a good education but the more expenses increase, the more loans I will need to pay back after I graduate with my degree,” said Kristy. She explained she has a choice: she can continue her college education by taking out more loans, or she can drop out of college and help her family by working at a job which requires less education.
As education becomes more expensive, arguments about fairness and opportunity increase. Doric Arks, an international student from Turkey, made his point about the cost in university tuition: “If you pay the tuition cost of community college by one-dollar bills for international student, it will weigh 40 pounds. However, at a four year university that expense will be doubled or weigh about 80 pounds.”
The concern about cost is more pressing for International students who pay tuition rates more than twice that of residents or US citizens. This financial hurdle may prevent many international students from coming to the US for an education. With an 8 to 10 percent increase in tuition at four year universities, students may have to reconsider their education options. Many Chinese students think that it would be better to return to their country and improve their education system so that they can study in their own country and earn a degree that is equal to universities in the US or England. This would create a competitive atmosphere and make China an attractive choice to compete with the high cost of an American education.
But many international students at the Fair trust the current university education in the US and feel that it will be an advantage to earn their degree in the United States. Melody said, “The tuition cost in America is the investment that your parents pay for your future. Despite the problems with the cost of tuition, cultural challenges, and being far from home, it is important that I complete my education in the US so I can find a good job and pay back my parents both monetarily and in trust. ”Yuki Konaka talked about his personal thoughts regarding the cost of a US education: “The cost of an American education is extremely high for me and my parents; however I am looking forward to getting a valuable experience here and can prepare for my future.”