With the death of financial stability, comes the death of romantic, meaningful matrimony. For some prospective UC Berkeley students, the promise of forever typically uttered while exchanging vows is translation for “I’ll pretend to love you forever;” forever in this case being the amount of time it takes to go through college and pay for tuition. Long story short, many students who cannot afford out-of-state tuition are hastily and spontaneously getting married (and divorced consequently) in order to gain in- state tuition by claiming themselves as independents.

Can we say desperate? Add “needed college tuition” to the list of the outrageous reasons people get married, none of which include the usual and expected love, compatibility and happiness, and you’ve got yourself a case of value debunking. What on Earth is happening to our fairy tale dreams of happily ever after?

Wait, there’s more! There’s even a website called WhyTuition.Org, an organization dedicated to our happiness and well being. Oh yes, it is the fastest and easiest way to find a marriage partner for the sole purpose of lessening tuition fees. How very noble!

Image Source: FionaandNeil under Creative Commons
Get Married, Save Thousands on Tuition [New York Times]
Why Pay Tuition [Why Pay Tuition Website]

outofstatestudent said:
Feb 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

While I appreciate your position on the sanctity of marriage, the issue is more complicated than “save a lot of money”. You seem to be discounting the reality of the astronomically high cost of tuition for out-of-state students, while at the same time ignorantly pushing all those students in the same income bracket. While Berkeley costs the same as a private school for an out-of-state student (roughly $38,000 per year), it does not offer financial aid packages for out-of-state students relative to their income, as many private schools are able to do (due to endowments, etc.). This means that if your parents aren’t able to foot a $150,000 tuition bill over the course of five years, you’ll likely be saddled with the above amount in loans.

This leaves your options limited. In order to qualify for lower tuition, the options are dramatic and often devastating. You can join the military, formally divorce your parents (emancipation, usually for cases of abuse, not financial independence), drop out of school and come back in 2+ years, have a child/dependent, or get married. In a brief review of the options (life-time loans before 22, moral compromise/death, claimed parental abuse, becoming a single parent at 20 for tuition purposes) marriage starts to not look so bad. If morality is your counter-evidence for this practice, I would be tremendously surprised if you chose the other options. Perhaps you’d choose loans, but it may be pertinent to note that the increase in tuition from $26,000 per year to $38,000 in only 4 years was an unpredicted jump for many of us who budgeted loans accordingly. Perhaps you’d have us drop out of school, but that certainly seems to have its own moral dilemmas if you support rights to education.

Lastly, I’m not sure you can blame the out-of-state students for the tainting of the “fairy tale dream”. How can the sanctity of marriage possibly be upheld when entire groups of people are excluded from it? If marriage remains a tool of rights exclusion, I hardly imagine sanctity can be associated with it.

chillthefcukout said:
Feb 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Dude, way to take a humourous article and get super butt-hurt. You didn’t need to specify you were out-of-state, anybody could hella tell from your grumpy ass post.

sohbet said:
Mar 22, 2012 at 3:18 am

Criticism is not a bad thing in general.

Gustaw Kowalski said:
Mar 23, 2012 at 12:05 am