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Post Column: Costs of college extend far beyond tuition

I’m a cheapskate. I opt to scan the chapters out of my textbooks in the library, and I’m probably on a first-name basis with the employees at Dollar Tree.

So as a cynical cheapskate, I become skeptical of how much money goes into things that end up getting you as much bang for your buck as a blind man gets at a magic show.

“Now you see me, now you ... Oh wait, never mind.”

So I decided to divide up where the money goes in this madness.


Common sense says that college tuition, at its exorbitant price tag, goes toward giving you the best education a school can provide, which to me includes everything from instruction to facilities. Upon entering my class a few weeks ago, the air in the room was identical to the sub-zero outdoor temperatures we experienced recently.

“I’m sorry to go off-topic, but can we close that window?” a girl next to me asked shyly. She probably would have asked sooner, but she had to spend the first half-hour prying her frozen jaw apart. 

Too bad, honey; that window is stuck in its current position, most likely from the rust.

Later on, we actually figured out that not only was the window open, but the A/C was pumping hypothermia into the room faster than you can say “an environment conducive to learning.”


Even though I’m not a huge sports fan, I recognize the importance of having a decent athletic program. Pumping money into varsity sports builds collegiate pride, which makes for happier students. It can also be a lucrative investment. If your athletic programs become prominent enough to turn profits, you can do great things for your school like sell your merchandise in WalMart next to the stretch pants.

I may be wrong, but I think a portion of our fees go into all the free merchandise they give out at sporting events. Unfortunately, I believe the point of this process is to entice students to attend.

Nothing says school spirit quite like the phrase “I come for the free crap; I stay for any extra free crap.”

While I was waiting in line for a basketball game, I saw a group of students begin exiting before tip-off. When I asked why they were already leaving the game, a girl told me they all only stood in line for the free jerseys.

Go team! There is no better way to document team pride like a mass exodus to the door after halftime because the beer is getting warm.


While taking a shower in my apartment, it can only be scalding hot because the cold faucet is 100 percent M.I.A. This means you have to do this sad, hokey-pokey deal to try and get your various limbs clean without causing third degree burns and swear words.

Quite frequently, the shower water just shuts off entirely, forcing you to first curse your roommate for not paying the utility bill, then realize utilities are included in rent, then wedge yourself under the sink faucet to rinse the disappointment off. 

At our apartment, you have to load money onto a vending card to do laundry. That’s fine, considering it costs roughly an hour of minimum wage work to wash a load. I don’t have enough quarters anyway.

Surprise, you also have to pay for the card. You literally have to pay to pay to do your laundry. With this card, this is also absolutely no guarantee that your clothes will be dry when you take them out.

Hey, this isn’t the Ritz. It’s not even the state penitentiary, for that matter, because I’m pretty sure that laundry gets done OK.

Jackie Runion is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. What are your financial gripes? Email Jackie at

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