College tuition has become a hot button issue. Tuition costs keep rising, book prices are out of control, and the explosive rise of student loan debt is creating a financial bubble that just keeps getting bigger and more threatening to the future prospects of the millennial generation.
Things need to change. This country cannot ignore predatory tuition costs the same way it ignored predatory housing loans in 2008.
This is a list of the top 10 most expensive colleges in the United States. The numbers are simply staggering, bu hopefully they will serve as a reminder that this system should not be allowed to continue unopposed. Keep in mind that the numbers below represent one year of tuition costs only. Most of these are four-year schools.
All costs on this list include tuition, room, board and other costs. They have all been gathered from The College Board’s “Annual Survey of Colleges 2014."
10. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering — $61,881
9. Landmark College — $61,898
8. Dartmouth College — $61,92
7. Scripps College — $61,940
6.Bard College — $62,012
5. Claremont McKenna College — $62,215
4.University of Chicago — $62,458
3.Columbia University — $63,440
2.Harvey Mudd College — $64,427
1. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y.—$65,480
Conclusion: Gas Station Economics
There are three lessons to be learned from this list. The first is that it is not just the “big name” schools that are expensive. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are not on this list at all. In fact, most of these schools have relatively low name recognition.
The second thing to note is that the difference between the most expensive school on this list and the least expensive is less than $4000.
These colleges seem to be following gas station economic principals. No school wants to be miles ahead of the others in terms of price so they stick to very small incremental leaps in tuition. It’s a brilliant strategy that allows tuition prices to creep up slowly, rather than make headlines for skyrocketing quickly.
The third, and final, takeaway from this list is simply that these colleges are unreasonably expensive. It may sound obvious, but until people start feeling outraged instead of interested by these prices nothing is going to change.
And that is not something this country can afford.
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