I guess pebblegrain and I are roughly the same age - and I feel that there's this almost separate generation of people about 5-10 years younger than us, who have basically lived with the internet, cell phones, compact disc and DVD, etc, all of their lives - I notice a lot of those kids are entitled as fuck, they live in la-la land about rights and material goods compared to the way I knew my generation to be just 10 years ago.
It is true that tuition at schools has doubled just around the time the aforementioned group entered college, because people of my age definitely had cheap tuition - I remember UT at Austin was like $1900/academic year or something. My school was only $4500 a year.
Still, kids who were of my age, where the internet and stuff was just breaking into mainstream usage, Napster was huge and still free, etc, etc, there were a ton of kids in my dorm who were going to school, expecting to pay for it with part time jobs; if they had cars, they were beaters, if they had TV's and stuff in their rooms they were buying the 13" CRTs and a little $50 fridge, etc. We didn't have air conditioning in our dorm rooms, had to share a gang shower, the whole building was disgusting and we expected that since we were basically paying like $250/month rent.
I went up to my school like 5 years ago and there's kids in the dorms parking Maserati Quattroportes and Range Rovers out in the big remote parking fields - what in the fuck? I'm pretty sure if I went up into those dorms the kids probably have flat panels and shit hung on the walls, everything Bed Bath and Beyond, potpourri and shit. They live in my old dorm but they installed A/C a couple years later, renovated everything, and they were still the 'cheap' dorms because of the internal layout, can't get around the common bathrooms without tearing the whole building down - they're not the hotel-like suite dorms that everybody lives in now with their like 5 fuck buddies and a disgusting shared bathroom where you all sit in there and eat snacks and talk about your feelings while some corny white girl in pajamas and a headband drops a deuce.
Honestly, recalling all of this, I realize that food was probably my least concern when I was living in the dorms, and I was just happy to have a meal prepared for me on most days. I was definitely worried about catching athlete's foot from the carpets or showers, dodging all the puke, IT throttling my internet, coming to the reality that girls poop, trying to stay on the good side of people so I could get their notes, etc.