College, an institution that, like one of those "deluxe" raffle tickets, extracts a hefty fee in exchange for a chance of entry into a higher social class, is very expensive these days. Why? According to one new analysis, it's because of your sniveling need for "nice" dorms and food.

Inside Higher Ed reports on the results of a new audit that a state board in Virginia performed on the finances of the state's colleges. "Why the hell are these god damn colleges in this crappy state so fucking expensive?" was the fundamental question the board is seeking to answer. And these results pointed to one possible culprit: "auxiliary services, including housing, dining and intercollegiate athletics."

“During the last decade, total spending per student (accounting for inflation) increased about 2 percent at Virginia’s six research institutions, and about 11 percent at Virginia’s other nine institutions,” the report states. “Spending on auxiliary enterprises funded by students was the largest driver of these spending increases. Auxiliary enterprise spending per student, after inflation, increased $821 at Virginia’s six research institutions and $906 at the other nine non-research institutions.”

Other college researchers say this report is "wrong," because many of these services actually turn a profit, and, furthermore, that this entire college cost issue is "complicated." It's the same old song that we've always heard from fancy college types. Kantian metaphysics is "complicated." Advanced calculus is "complicated." Organic chemistry is "complicated." When will we stop paying attention to this broken record?

Regular folks can see the problem here clear as crystal. Fancy dorms. Fancy food. Fancy sports. None of that spells "C-O-L-L-E-G-E." In my day, University of Virginia students lived in trees, scavenged berries, played with sticks, and owned slaves. If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it's good enough for the spoiled children of this modern world.

[Inside Higher Ed. Photo: Wendy Harman/ Flickr]