Is it normal to find tuition costs a non-issue?
I've been taking online college courses through a fully online school. Taking those courses I really don't understand why most people going to college would want to go to a physical school. Online courses I feel like are just way more flexible and are inherently cheaper. I'll only have to pay about $8,000 total for my associates whereas a public college program could be twice that amount.
College in general is not as important towards getting most jobs anymore anyways. There are sooooo many certifications, trade, vocational schools, apprentships, etc. that are vastly cheaper forms of education than college and arguably better. There are still some things that require college education, I understand, but people choose to not do research or get pressured into then complain that their tuition is really high when they choose to go to their big private state university that probably is spending over half their annual tuition subsidizing their athletics department or maintaining onsite facilities that are generally not necessary for education.
I've had people tell me they wanted to go to specific schools for the expressed purpose of that school being a party school or they look at all the extra curricular facilities like pools and fancy dining halls with expensive school food and I'm just baffled. College is a relatively small portion of your life why choose to put yourself into debt over it no reason?
Don't even get me started on people choosing to take degrees that aren't even useful.
I can say I am glad I decided not to go
College tuition is pretty outrageous for a lot of universities and institutions, but you're spot on that people who act as though the only option is to go 6 figures into debt are complete dumbfucks. Choose a profitable career and find training that won't put you and your descendants in debt for generations. Part of the problem is the fucking elitist attitude so many people have, where if you attend a university that isn't abusively expensive or pretentious, then it's not worth enrolling
I could get an Associates for $5000 at my local community college.
The real issue is people who send their students to over-priced schools. The education that they provide is barely better than the cheap ones, and their prices are considerably higher. Really, the best thing to do is to find a community college with an association with a somewhat-more-expensive college to spend some of your time in the community college, and then some in the other; say, two years in one, two years in the other. That is a very cheap college education that only counts marginally less than a very expensive college education, in that it does not provide quite as much of a bragging right.
I feel like this post could have been condensed down to just the first sentence.
You're talking about two opposite ends of a spectrum. Yeah, going to an expensive school for no good reason is stupid if you can't afford it, but there are legitimate reasons to go to more expensive schools. Some career paths are competitive, and getting a degree, especially from a good school, often puts you ahead of anyone that went to a trade school or just got certifications.
(There's also the greater access you have to fellow students and your professor in in-person classes, which is important, but I took it for granted when I was writing that paragraph.)
On the other side is online colleges. You're still getting the degree, you're just doing it cheaper, but you get what you pay for. On any given resume or job application, the degree you have is usually accompanied by the school you went to to get it. There's competition between even brick-n'-mortar institutions in terms of which one means more when a recruiter sees it, and online schools are no exception. I hope you did your research on the place you're going to before you dropped the cash.
And to the title's question, no, I don't think that's normal. Everyone's getting their tuition money from somewhere. Either their parents had it ready for them, they got scholarships and grants, they worked for it, or they just took out loans. A "non-issue" means you can just roll in there and pay out of pocket. Most guys I knew fresh out of high school didn't have $8000 to throw around.
Schools are often important for social connections and networking.
You also get the live interaction of the students with a professor when they ask a related question to a topic or point covered as part of the course, which can bring the most illuminating bits of knowledge. This never happens with online courses.
The question being is that worth the extra tuition. Yes for many people and some schools/colleges are more worthwhile than others. I personally feel that I benefited greatly from attending a major University Campus (over 40,000 students).