Opinion | High net cost overshadows Miami’s many positive aspects
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 23:04
The United States Department of Education ranked Miami University as the most expensive public university in the United States in terms of net cost.
The net cost includes the average total cost of attending Miami and living in Oxford and factors in the average amount of financial aid students receive.
The Miami Student editorial board was not surprised by this ranking and feels it shows a dangerous trend Miami has been following.
Before, Miami was ranked as a “best deal,” meaning the price of attending Miami was low compared to the caliber of academics at the university.
While we feel Miami has provided good academics while keeping costs under control, the board fears that as attending Miami becomes more and more expensive, students will no longer get this good deal.
Miami administrators said the university came in as the most expensive school because more students live on campus than at other universities and because living in Oxford is often more expensive than at other universities.
However, the editorial board feels this is a catch-22 since the university requires students to live on campus their first year and sophomore year.
Administrators also said the net cost does not take into account Miami’s small class sizes or the university’s full-time faculty.
However, the board fears Miami is losing this as well.
We have seen Miami hire more and more clinical faculty and lecturers and we have seen class sizes grow in our time here.
The board feels the close, personal relationships we have been able to form with professors have been one of the best parts of Miami.
We don’t want future students to be deprived of this.
The board worries the high net cost will turn away potential students and their parents, who will be deterred by the high price tag and won’t look further into the university.
The board is not naïve — we know the price of college is rising everywhere and we know the university has been working to cut costs.
But, we encourage the university to cut where there is excess, not where it is easiest.
As editors, we have all talked to Miami officials at one time or another about rankings Miami receives, both good and bad.
One thing that frustrates us is the university embraces good rankings but tries to explain away bad rankings by saying they do not accurately represent the school.
We know a lot of rankings do not take into account things like graduation rates and placement in graduate school.
But this ranking by the United States Department of Education cannot be explained away. The ranking is based on cold hard numbers.
We encourage the university to take this ranking and work from there; making excuses will not solve any problems.