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Into the Price Tag: A Simplified Breakdown of the Cost of K and What it Gets You

*DISCLAIMER: These are the numbers for THIS year, they change year to year, and this is just my opinion, but I trust the reader to see it that way.

No doubt many of you have stared in utter shock at the price tag of K. It is true, K is not a cheap college, so do you get your money’s worth? I’ll let you decide that, but to help, here is a list of what you get for your bucks.

Tuition for 2014-15: $40,728
What it gets you:

  • Professors who really care about the subject matter they are teaching and really know what they are talking about. A class is almost never taught by someone without a PhD. in their subject area. They are all geeks, and it is beautiful. They also respond to emails very promptly.
  • Small class sizes. The majority of classes are tiny: 30ish people max tiny. Most of the classrooms are actually built so they can’t accommodate big classes. There are only a handful of lecture halls on campus, and only one of them holds more than 100 people. They are primarily used for intro-level science classes. Even in the lecture halls your professor WILL know your name (even if you can’t remember theirs).
  • Office hours: A magical thing where professors stay in their office, ready to talk to their students and make their lives a million times better by answering their questions. Not only is it the norm to visit your professor’s office hours, it is encouraged. As a bonus, if you can’t make it to office hours, it is easy to schedule an appointment for another time to meet.
  • Science labs: small labs, lots of fun, nice equipment. It blows everything else out of the water with hands-on learning and comes with TAs who know their stuff.
  • An academic adviser to handle emergencies and make sure you stay on track. You can even choose your adviser before declaring your major if you want.
  • Study abroad:  Generally, the only extra fee for study abroad is travel for most programs, and the programs are grand. Did you see Courtney’s posts about her study abroad experience?
  • Beautiful, small campus so you’re never more than a seven-minute walk from anywhere on campus which is so wonderful in the winter.
  • Awesome library complete with coffee shop, tons of computers, media labs, two fireplaces in the reading room, rooms that can be borrowed for studying, lots of other places to study, a copy center, and shelves upon shelves of beautiful books.
  • Free access to the pool, gym, professional-grade tennis courts, and indoor racquetball center
  • More resources than you ever need in your life (ever).
  • Wi-fi that may or may not be fast depending on the time of day.
  • Much, much more.

Room and Board for a Double Room: $4,134 a year
What it gets you in a first-year dorm:

  • A roommate you will either hate, love, or neutrally co-exists with. (Don’t worry, if the situation gets unbearably terrible with your roommate switching can usually be arranged!)
  • Two desks (with small attached shelf, light and chair), closets, dressers and beds.
  • A room that can range from really small (the room I live in now was a single last year and fits just four people comfortably) or massive (my friend has a room that can hold 14 people comfortably).
  • All res halls also include at least one lounge, a TV, fireplace (if you’re lucky), wonderful couches, functioning kitchen and RAs who are actually really awesome (shout out to Trow RAs!) along with laundry facilities in the basement and hall events with free food.
  • People who clean and maintain the res halls so all you have to clean is your room.
  • Every residence hall also has its own perks.

Meal Plan: Mean Average of $8.62.
What it gets you

  • A meal swipe at the Cafeteria.  The food is either really awesome, kind of “meh” or somewhere awkward in-between. The caf is buffet style so you can take as much as you like which is convenient. 95% of the time staff do not mind if you take some food to go (it is actually semi-encouraged to take a fruit to go which is great, especially since the apples are usually from a local orchard).We have vegan and vegetarian food every day and students food allergies are considered so no one ever goes hungry due to dietary constrictions. Recently we have added a variety of gluten free options.  The staff also encourage students to submit suggestions for meals so if want tacos during the week you will get tacos.
  • Or a meal swipe at Stacks (technically called the Richardson Room but no one ever calls it that)  which is basically Subway only better. Again, the staff try to cater to what the student body wants and if you go late at night just before closing you may get a free cookie or cup of soup. A drink, two sides and sandwich (or salad) are included in the price. Sushi is now being sold at Stacks.

Activity Fee: $333 a year
What it gets you

  • Your wildest dreams
  • Funding for student organizations
  • Monte Carlo (Formal night where Hicks gets transformed into a casino. It is actually crazy classy)
  • Frelon (massive student dance show for which campus goes crazy)
  • The once-a-term acappella concert which is awesome
  • Crystal Ball (a dance put on by Kaleidoscope which encourages students to come in drag. Almost everyone goes in drag, and nearly all students attend)
  • Monkapult (our improv comedy group which is the closest thing to campus celebrities we have)

Sports (intramural and otherwise!) are also funded by this.

Is there anything you want to learn more about in-depth? Let me know by posting a comment!

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