We (both we at BloggEd and we humans) talk a lot about tuition costs, so it probably makes sense to take a look at some numbers just published by the College Board.
- Tuition and fees at private, four-year colleges increased 4.4 percent in 2009-10 (compared to 5.9 percent the previous year), averaging $26,273.
- At public four-year colleges, the costs increased 6.5 percent for in-state students, to $7,020, and 6.2 percent for out-of-staters, to $18,548.
It’s important to note that only about a third of students nationwide paid the full sticker price. With that in mind, the College Board reports:
Although average published tuition and fees increased by about 15% in inflation-adjusted dollars at private not-for-profit four-year and by about 20% at public four-year colleges and universities from 2004-05 to 2009-10, average estimated 2009-10 net price for full-time students, after considering grant aid and federal tax benefits, is about $1,100 lower (in 2009 dollars) in the private sector and $400 lower in the public sector than it was five years ago.
Of course, the College Board is in the business of charging high sums for SAT Tests, and for books telling you how to ace the SAT tests, and thus is motivated to put all things collegiate in a good light. They are notorious (to me, anyway) for their somewhat sketchy studies showing the income-multiplier effect for a college degree. (Sketchy because there is no control group: college graduates are by and large smarter than non-college graduates, and it would be shocking if they didn’t make more money.)
Still, it’s interesting that most people pay a lot less tuition than the 40K or so famously charged by the fanciest schools, and, at least by some measures, have been paying less, not more, in recent years.