I attended Rutgers University in Jersey for a year before I had to leave. I was paying $6,000 on top of $3,000 in loans, so when they told me they were going to up my tuition, I told them to fuck off. I came back to the city, pissed away six months of my life, then started attending Baruch College. The cost of my education went from $9,000 a year to -$4,000. I was getting paid to go to class, and the only real difference was instead of drinking in a 12×12 concrete cell of a dorm in New Brunswick, I was drinking in a bar around the corner from my school in Gramercy.

Taking all this into consideration leads me to a poignant question: Exactly what the fuck was I paying for during that first year?

With full tuition at $21,776, Rutgers isn’t even that bad. New York University is $37,372 and can go as high as $60k — which is, as has been said here before, the equivalent of buying a brand new Porsche and driving it off a cliff again and again every year. If a millionaire did that four years in a row, he’d be worldwide news. Compared to Baruch ($5,760), NYU is at least seven times more expensive, but what exactly is the difference?

Professors

In the late ’80s, NYU decided to act like the NY Yankees and just buy the most expensive staff they could possibly find. They didn’t have the money to do it, so they just jacked tuition fees through the roof. It was a fucking stupid and reckless move, but it worked. Kids saw people like Derek Jeter teaching Madonna “21st Century Fucking” and assumed the price was right. Problem is, these teachers also freelance at the cheap colleges — sometimes they even teach the same fucking course! Last semester I had a class with the writer Francine Prose, who simultaneously taught the same course at both Baruch and NYU. Also, there are a ton of great teachers who end up working solely for public colleges because of the lax obligations, white liberal guilt or sheer repugnance of NYU kids.

Students

While NYU is full of rich, white douche bags playing Ché, Baruch is packed to the brim with minorities. That’s not to say NYU doesn’t have any minorities; it’s just that NYU has the ones whose parents already own a deli, corner store or bodega, and Baruch has the ones who just got here. Either way, an Advanced Calculus course at NYU or Baruch is going to look like it’s being taught in Beijing or Calcutta, so who cares? Also, while Baruch is full of FOBs learning, NYU has fobs teaching. No highly educated person is going to cross an ocean to work for the packets of Ramen and plastic sporks that Baruch passes off as professors’ salaries. It’s one thing when the kid next to you smells like he bathes in curry; it’s another when you can’t make out what your English teacher said because he can’t get his Rs and Ls straight.

Reputation

People inevitably resort to the argument that NYU’s reputation warrants its price tag, that someone with an NYU degree will get picked for a job over someone else with a plebeian diploma.

That’s bullshit. If you’re applying to a job that only requires a Bachelor’s degree, the person who’s hiring you doesn’t care about the name on the diploma as long as it isn’t Ashwood University. The person hiring you only cares about: A. how you act during the interview (guys), and B. what you’re wearing (girls). And if you’re going on to one of those grad schools that weigh GPAs from “top tier” universities more than community colleges, it matters even less. Community colleges are easier, so your GPA will be higher anyway. (That’s the whole point of weighing them differently.)

Lastly, most people don’t even end up going into the same field they studied in college, thus making their degree moot. I mean, look at Gavin and Derrick. They both have degrees, but they spend their time making esoteric videos that nobody understands.

Originally posted on Street Carnage.