A woman exposes universities for charging exorbitant tuition fees, sparking a conversation on the cost of higher education.
Getting a college degree has grown to become an expensive affair. However, not many people have stopped to consider if they are spending money in the right place. Meanwhile, Hannah Maruyama–who goes by @degreefree on TikTok–has been trying to explain how colleges have been taking advantage of people by charging them a lot of money for degrees. Maruyama posted a video a month back providing a detailed explanation of how colleges could function without taking tuition fees from students.
Maruyama begins the video by sharing how people would often say that she had a "capitalistic way of looking at education" whenever she talked about the cost of college. She explains, "Okay. One, college is not education." The woman explained how it was a little concerning that she had to explain to people that "college is not education." She states how a college is basically a business where people can purchase access to information.
According to her, this information could educate people. Maruyama sarcastically "welcomes" people to 2023, where education has "never been more accessible to more people ever in history." After saying this, she goes on to point out the irony where people were more concerned with her views than colleges charging almost $104,000 for a bachelor's degree. The woman remarks sarcastically, "Because that's the problem!"
She elaborates how people could have an issue with her preventing people from spending on overly expensive degrees rather than calling out the institutions that charged obscenely high fees and put the American population in $1.7 trillion in debt. The woman then shares with her viewers a basic explanation of what endowments in the context of colleges were. She explains, "Endowments are hedge funds."
Maruyama then explains how premier institutions did not need to charge their students with a tuition fee. She says, "They do because they are greedy businesses. They're not out here for the greater good. They are out here for the cash." She then states how businesses like Walmart made it clear that they wanted to make profits, in contrast to colleges, who pretended like they were not.
She continues her rant, saying, "They're allowed to sell unfettered amounts of debt to 17-year-old children. That's the other problem." The woman talks about how colleges sold paper to young adults and put the money in an endowment. An endowment is basically a "tax-free investment vehicle." She attributes endowments as the primary reason why colleges continue to get richer every year.
The woman states how colleges could utilize the endowment funds to invest in other things that were all free of tax. She concludes, "I hope that that gives you a little bit better picture of where you should maybe direct your anger." People on the platform agreed with Maruyama's analysis and shared their thoughts in the comment section. @248elroy said, "The wording on this topic was flawless."
Another user, @lmmile2, shared, "I dropped out of college. I'm making more than my dad with a doctorate working a management job now." @glenross commented, "I agree with you, but going to an expensive college is a choice. There's always an inexpensive state school. Missouri comes to mind." @browncownowbuthow said, "Understood and explained perfectly."