Gen Z Is Not Lazy, They’re Simply Facing Unprecedented Tuition Costs And Job Market Competition

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“I went to Texas A&M in 1985. I paid $12 per semester hour, and I think it increased to $16 while I was there.

The dorm and a meal plan were pretty cheap. In fact, I had somewhere around $20K in scholarships – total for four years – and that covered everything -tuition, fees, room board, and books. (And I still made a couple of really bonehead financial decisions. Ugh.)

Basically, a full-time job during the summer and holidays would have covered the cost of attendance if I didn’t have the scholarships.

Now to go to A&M, the cost of attendance is around $22K per year (tuition, fees, room, board, and books.) If a kid can get a job making $10 an hour, they must work 2200 hours to pay for a year. That’s 44 hours a week for 50 weeks.

This is a state school. Try going somewhere private – it easily doubles that.

Are there ways to defray the costs? Yes. But it’s not quite as easy as eating ramen and getting a part-time job.

So, quit calling these kids lazy. I’ve got two high school students and they live in a chronically sleep-deprived state because they are in school or studying or investing in activities that will make them more attractive to scholarship committees (and better people in general).

They are anything but lazy. And my kids are NOT the exception.

Students today are petrified of a future burdened by debt. And they have good reason to be. We took advantage of ridiculously cheap education, stood by, and watched the costs become unreachable for most people, and now we berate them for wanting a free ride and not eating ramen. Shame on us.

I get that you don’t want to pay for their college, and it’s your right to feel that way. But be honest and quit pretending like the situation is the same as when you went to college. It’s not.”

mother sits on the ground criss crossed looking up and smiling
Courtesy of Amy Mann Rogers

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Mann Rogers of Texas.

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