The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

College education:
Reserved for the wealthy

Aug 6, 2007

Wayne State University in Detroit announced it is raising tuition 18% this fall. Other public universities in Michigan have also increased tuition dramatically. Oakland University raised its tuition 14%, while Michigan State hiked theirs 10%.

Michigan schools are hardly alone. Public universities in Illinois, Colorado, and Oklahoma all plan similar increases. Nationwide, the average tuition at four-year, public universities was $5,836 last year, an increase of 42% just since 2002-2003. And this doesn’t take into account books, fees and living expenses – which can often triple the cost.

This is happening at the very moment that young people are being told they must go to college in order to “break into the job market.”

A college education has always been reserved for the children of the wealthy. Today, more and more it is reserved ONLY for them. Some students from working and middle class families may make it, but often only by piling up debt that they will be saddled with for many years to come.

Workers want a quality education for their children, training for jobs, but also access to science and culture. A rationally organized society would provide it.

Past social movements, like the black movement of the sixties, forced the ruling class to open the doors of the universities to many students who would previously have been excluded. In the same way, a new fight when workers stand up for themselves can spill over to change college campuses once again.