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It’s fair to say that college in itself is a huge expense for most students. As an out-of-state student, my estimated yearly cost to attend CU Boulder is $55,992. However, that hefty price tag doesn’t include other key costs that are necessary just to get by, such as parking, which remains an unnecessary finacial burden.
The 2019 fall semester rate for a parking permit on the CU campus is $221, and a full academic year permit is $442. The university is essentially forcing students to pay hundreds of dollars just to get to class on time as if the tens of thousands of dollars they already pay for their degree isn’t enough. Not to mention, many commuting students have to pay for parking at their own residences as well. Boulder is notorious for a housing crisis that CU freshmen feel after leaving their dorms. Students are forced to go off campus, which can be a very expensive alternative.
CU Boulder’s annual parking report for 2018 reported that the university generated over $10 million in revenue in parking services. This includes permits, meters, citations and event parking. Employee, student and visitor parking permits alone generated over $5 million. On-campus parking is issued as a commodity, not as a courtesy.
Faculty at CU don’t have it much easier, either. They too have to pay for a parking permit in order to go to class every day. Faculty may not have to pay for tuition, but should they really be required to pay to park at their own job? It seems counterintuitive to make a professor pay a fee so that they can receive a paycheck.
“On-campus parking is issued as a commodity, not as a courtesy.”
Athletes as well must pay to park to get to their practices.
“It’s essentially paying to practice,” said Evan Battey, forward for CU men’s basketball. “It sucks so much.”
In 2018, CU athletics generated over $89 million in revenue. The players, of course, are to thank for those piles of cash. Forcing them to pay to get to their own practices, practices which enable them to make the university so much money, is ridiculous.
Even turning to public transportation doesn’t come without issues. Boulder County may be a very biker friendly, but its bus system is lacking. With a specific schedule, it’s tough to put your faith in a bus to get you to where you need to be on time. And finding a spot on campus to lock up your bike can be a nightmare, especially when the leading crime at CU is bike theft. Students who live further from campus also benefit a lot more from having a car with them when they are out of reach from the bus system or cannot get to class by bike.
And for god’s sake, we go to school in Colorado, one of the most beautiful states in the country. Students want to have a car here so that they can go hiking in the Rocky Mountains on the weekend, visit hot springs, ski some of the best snow out west or go to a concert at Red Rocks. Part of the reason why I came to this school was to experience everything Colorado has so that I never needed to go back home to the east coast. Having a car is, I would say, imperative here if you want to fully immerse yourself in all that Colorado offers. However, some of us risk missing out because having a car is so damn expensive.
The bottom line is students already pay enough as it is for their degree at CU. No one should have to pay extra just because they have a vehicle.
Contact CU Independent Assistant Opinion Editor Savannah Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org