The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

College Costs

So your high school senior has just come to you beaming excitedly because he or she has been accepted into an exclusive college or university. That’s terrific news, and is definitely an accomplishment worthy of celebration. But before you start passing out cigars and popping open champagne bottles, have you considered whether or not that exclusive school is worth the money? Would your child (and your bank account) be better served by attending a more reasonably priced state school?

We all know that tuition costs have been out of control for years now, but it’s still a sobering experience to see some of the prices in print. Here’s a taste of what the most expensive schools in America cost (including room and board), according to Forbes:

  1. Sarah Lawrence College, $57,556
  2. Columbia University, $54,385
  3. Bard College, $54,275
  4. Wesleyan University, $53,976
  5. Vanderbilt University, $53, 660

Yikes! Multiply those figures times four years and you’ve got yourself the price of a modest single-family home in the suburbs. I don’t know about you, but unless my kid got massive amounts of financial aid and scholarship money, I would have to tell him those schools are completely off-limits!