By Eric Niehaus, For The Miami Student

Think about what you could do with $100. As I’m typing, a copy of “Made in America” sits next to my desk. Th book is Sam Walton’s autobiography and details how he built the Walmart franchise to be the behemoth that it is. The back cover lets you know this book  costs only $7.99.

So here’s something interesting. For less than eight bucks, I can buy a first-person look into one of the greatest business minds in the history of American capitalism. For just 32 quarters, I can get my hands on a personal and private education from one of the most successful businessmen to have ever walked the Earth. Isn’t that incredible?

Now contrast that to what we pay each time to take a single class at Farmer. It’s $100.

This means I’m paying over 13 times more to sit in a class than the amount I would pay for an insider-look into Sam Walton and how he built his business. And, for what? I’m typically not one to complain, but since this is Miami’s business school, let’s look at this issue in terms of the business side.

It’s all about value-add, right? The benefit must justify the cost. With this in mind, I’d challenge you to change how you look at your classes at Miami.

When I look at some of the business classes I’ve sat in, I can guarantee you that the benefit from that specific class doesn’t even come close to justifying what I’m paying.

Think about it this way. Would you pay $100 to go see that professor speak outside of class?

For the vast majority of us, that answer is, “Heck no.” Yet we pay them that ridiculous, unjustified amount without much thought. And a lot of people simply skip those classes.

It’s readily apparent that the classes themselves are not justifying their cost. I remember a course I took where a Miami employee came in and talked to us about a program they wanted us to rebrand — it would be our project for the class.

He spoke for half of the class and the rest of the time the professor had us write words we associated with big brands. And then, it was over.

Now, you tell me: does that sound like it’s worth $100?

It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it, and it’s very close to bordering on a scam. Pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to this school, pay an extra $100 to sit in your class, each time. Then you’re going to do free work for that school. We’re literally paying Miami for us to work for them.

Granted, that’s not the case in all classes; but it’s quite a few, and when you couple that with the fact that we have to pay extra to have that experience, it all sort of sounds ridiculous.

Would you pay your boss to work for their company? Isn’t that an almost laughable thought?

Miami is set up like a business, and we’re paying so much to go here, and then we pay an extra $100 that results practically no value-add.

So is there a reason for this, apart from the fact we’re just paying out the wazoo to get a piece of paper with our name printed on it?

We lose sight of the value of $100 when it’s contrasted to the tens of thousands we pay to attend Miami, but $100 is still a lot of money. And I personally think it would be better spent elsewhere. Candidly, I think I’d learn a heck of a lot more buying 13 books like Sam Walton’s than I am from attending these classes in Farmer.

Miami needs to ask itself why its students should pay that extra, seemingly unjustified $100.

Of course, I’m sure there are financial factors of which I’m unaware. But on principle, if Miami can’t justify that extra $100, then it needs to either stop tacking on that fee or start adding more value per class.

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