The Cost of Scripps Tuition

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For my final project I decided to address the insane cost of Scripps tuition. This topic is often avoided, or people will say things like “you pay for what you get” or “the education is worth it”. In a way, I think the Scripps tuition makes the school seem better than it actually is because people assume that if it costs this much, it must be an amazing school. I see this as a social justice issue for a variety of reasons. First of all, the tuition is way too high for most people in our country to afford, even with scholarships and financial aid. Even our public schools are expensive compared to those in the rest of the world. Second, the tuition makes this school seem like it is much better than any other alternative. While it is a good school, private schools are put on a pedestal, implying that their students are better just because they go to an exclusive institution. In reality, there are great public and private schools, and nobody should be looked at differently because they couldn’t afford to go to a more expensive school. Students should not feel like they are lesser because they go to a state school and employers shouldn’t automatically consider private school students more qualified.

With my final project, I wanted to compare Scripps tuiton to other extremely valuable things in order to make people face the reality of our college’s cost. Is it really worth the same as 16.6 years rent or 4.5 years salary (all values were obtained from census information on the average rent, average salary, and average UC tuition)? Is it actually 2.4 times more valuable than a UC degree? Looking at the numbers behind everything makes private schools seem absurd.

I decided to keep my print simple, with only text and icons. I wanted the facts to speak for themselves and not be drowned out by pictures. I also didn’t want to specifically reference Scripps College, because this print is addressing a larger issue in the United States that can apply to lots of institutions. However, I used the classic Scripps green and the Scripps font to hint that I was referencing Scripps. I also used the olive branch and flower icons to symbolize the campus, since it is known for its beauty and trees.

Finally, I ended my print with the response “probably not”, to the question “Is it really worth this much?”. I didn’t want to make a definitive conclusion because it’s unfair to discount everything that Scripps has given us, no matter what the cost is. The relationships I have made here are invaluable to me, and I have taken a class that meant so much to me I actually felt it was worth the money. I also didn’t want to make the conclusion for viewers, I just wanted to present them with objective facts that they could use to make their own decison. This print is not a definitive claim, it is intended only as a discussion starter.

-Isabel Streiffer, Scripps '20

The Cost of Scripps Tuition