Paying the piper: Cutting your tuition costs by a third

Looking through the news recently, I read that two Ohio students were each sentenced to 20 years in jail for armed robbery. When the Judge asked them why they had committed the crimes, they stated that they needed the cash to pay for school. Apparently, their tuition went up and their scholarships and financial aid were not enough to cover the costs of their education.

It's been a few years since I was in school, but I still have clear memories of the loan shark-style tactics that the university used to get money out of me. I remember being charged for athletic tickets that I never received, health-care that I never used, and buses that I never rode. And then there were the meal plans that I was forced to buy, the overpriced textbooks that I couldn't afford, and the ridiculous parking tickets that I got whenever the student parking lot filled up (which usually happened sometime around 7:30 in the morning). When I didn't pay, the school blocked my account, denying me access to classes, library books, and even food.