You know – I mean, you just know – when the guy at Auburn responsible for calculating the school’s cost of attendance says something like this…
“This is a financial aid budget,” he said. “This isn’t an athletic scholarship budget.”
… hilarity is bound to ensue, and this article (h/t) lives up to the promise of that. In spades.
You can start with the chutzpah of him questioning how other schools can justify their numbers if you like, but for me, the money shot (see what I did there?) has to be his defense of the $2,858 allotment for transportation costs.
As for transportation, Reynolds attempts to encompass those who live on and near campus in Auburn as well as commuters from Montgomery and Columbus (roughly 100-mile round trips) and Birmingham (over 200 miles round trip), and has to account for some trips home for a school with roughly 40 percent of students coming from out of state, predominantly Georgia.
While a student at Auburn would have to drive over 2,100 miles per month at a rate of 20 miles per gallon with gas being $3 per gallon to account for the $317.56 budgeted for transportation each month by Reynolds, that doesn’t factor in any flying, which would quickly eat into that figure and factor into the average annual cost. [Emphasis added.]
For its size, this must be the busiest goddamned airport in the Southeast. What a lucky coincidence for Auburn’s coaches.
With Auburn’s cost of attendance figure ranking so comparatively high it will naturally be a factor in recruiting, though not as much as of yet.
“We’re not talking about it enough, to be honest with you,” Auburn wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig said in early May. “But it will focused on from me (during the May evaluation period) and that can be used as an advantage. It is what it is.”
Multiple members of Malzahn’s staff said cost of attendance hasn’t come up much on the recruiting trail so far, even during in-home visits last January, but now that it’s set to start they’ll be emphasizing it moving forward.
“It has not been a big issue – yet – but it’s something that over the course of time we will it a big issue because it’s a good issue for Auburn,” running backs coach Tim Horton said. “It’s good for us. That plays well into our hands.”
Greg Sankey, these people aren’t trolling you. They’re daring you.