As there is currently residing in my house a high school senior, and in light of the fact that I overhear (i.e., eavesdrop) some of his conversations with his peers, it has come to my attention that a good number of high school seniors this year have been wait-listed at the colleges of their choice. In other words, the board members of the admissions committees at these schools are telling our high school seniors that they'll get back to them on whether they will allow our students (and of course, their parents) the privilege of paying over $50,000/year to attend their prestigious institutions.
I'm not sure if I'm alone here, but I am absolutely amazed by this. What other industry can treat its customer base this way and get away with it? And not just get away with it, but thrive in it. Bask in the knowledge that if one kid says no, or their parents say, "Sorry, we can't afford it," there will be several hundred more applicants right behind to take their place and be thrilled with the idea of paying such exorbitent sums for a college education that these days guarantees you nothing but student debt.
I have another theory (a recurring fantasy actually). What if some smart and enterprising high school senior rose up through the ranks and through the use of social media unionized all seniors in this country to take a year off. A gap year. Go feed the poor, build homes, join the Peace Corps -- do some good somewhere in the world, anything. Just make sure you DO NOT ATTEND COLLEGE that year. Do you think that might get the colleges' attention? Do you think the overpaid staff and bloated college presidents might perk their ears up? The message is simple: We, the students, refuse to pay over $200,000 for a college education that guarantees us nothing but the privilege of lining your pockets!!!
As a parent of three teenage boys (with three college tuitions looming over me in the horizon), I readily admit that I might be a little biased. But I say, as long as we keep lining up to pay these ridiculous, exorbitant sums and have our kids mistreated in the process, colleges are simply going to continue hiking up their fees each and every year.
It's the basic rules of supply and demand. Simple economics. I say cut off the demand and sit back and watch the cost of a college education plummet to where it should be in the first place. Better yet, let's have the colleges vie for our kids, fight over them, and we just kick back and tell the schools, "We'll see...we'll put you on our waiting list."