The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Tuition is necessity, extra costs aren’t

Viewpoint by By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

TCC’s tuition rate of $50 per credit hour is a fantastic deal, but it is still a significant amount of money.

It pays for access to a group dedicated to learning, the benefits of being a student and the insight of a professor. Above all else, though, it pays for the opportunity to put down credit for that class on a transcript. The transcript becomes a degree, which then becomes a career. That’s the idea, at least.

But when it doesn’t provide that opportunity on its own, something is wrong.

Textbooks, which hopefully will be as inefficient for publishing companies in a few years as they are for students now, and the Internet ID cards found in the back of them are big, obvious culprits.

A $70-$120 investment in a book whose value will plummet in six months when it is republished with semantic changes and different binding just to access homework isn’t a prudent investment, particularly when any information one might find in the textbook itself is readily available on the Internet or in a library.

The primary flashpoint, however,  is the disposable workbook. While textbooks can be sold back, once an assignment is taken out of a workbook it’s gone, along with a student’s investment if the class doesn’t pan out. These should be tools to supplement classes, not a mathematical necessity for passing.

Yes, college is traditionally expensive, but in most classes, students will at least have access to their assignments without paying more than the registration cost, such that if they do nothing else, they can show up on important test dates and at least have a shot in the dark.

I don’t advocate this strategy, but if that opportunity isn’t inherent upon registration, then what am I paying for?

To denounce all teachers that use workbooks and online-access-only homework would be inconsiderate at best, but I do believe that the $52 I will pay per credit hour this spring should get me enough material to pass on its own.

I’ve already bought the class. Don’t make me buy the assignments, too.

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