(Source: Cornell University)
Yet another item from the "shocker!" file: College costs continue to outpace inflation. Now that's news. A recent study from the College Board tells us that "a year of college rose by about 6 percent in 2006, outpacing wages, inflation, or financial aid."
This comes courtesy of U.S. News. Here's more:
In fact, the cost of obtaining a degree is rising even faster because students are taking longer to graduate. Instead of paying for four years of college, the average public university student pays for more than six years of tuition before marching off to "Pomp and Circumstance." Private school students finish quicker-taking 5.3 years on average.
The sticker price for an academic year at a typical public university is $16,400: $5,836 for tuition and fees, almost $7,000 for room and board, and an additional $3,500 or so for books, travel, and entertainment, the College Board estimated. About half of students get scholarships or tax breaks to reduce their out-of-pocket costs, however, bringing the average net price paid to about $13,000.
If prices keep rising at the current rate, students who don't receive any grants will most likely pay more than $115,000 to reach graduation day. Those who do receive scholarships or other assistance will most likely pay about $87,000. Thirty years ago, when the total sticker price of a year at a public university ran less than $3,000 and students took less time to graduate, the total cost of a degree was closer to $12,000.
Though some high-priced private colleges now ask more than $50,000 a year, the average annual cost at private universities for 2006 is just over $33,000. But about three quarters of private school students receive financial aid to reduce their out-of-pocket costs. The average net price those students pay is only about $22,000. So while a degree for today's private school Freshmen paying full sticker price will very likely cost about $200,000, a degree will cost private students receiving financial aid about $124,000.
Two-year community colleges remained an educational bargain, however. In some states, such as California, community college tuition actually dropped this year. On average, tuition at the nation's commuter schools rose an average of only 4.1 percent this year, to $2,300. That means even students who don't receive any financial aid but live at home and attend a community college could finish their freshman and sophomore years for as little as $8,000, including textbooks and transportation to and from classes, the College Board estimated.
You can read the rest here.
By the way, why the Cornell photo? As I foreshadowed last week, the university is announcing a $4 billion capital campaign tomorrow. They've already raised $1 billion. Money will support the Ithaca campus and the medical complex in New York City. Maybe they'll build a bridge.