A Tour Through Tuition and Fees…..or The Costs of Education part 3

Hello from snowy Boston.

My last couple of post have been off-topic, so I’m just getting back to this now. And I’m glad I waited because I saw in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Washington University is going to raise tuition by 4.4% for the 2009-2010 academic year. That will make tuition and fees alone $37,800. Tuition and fees only. No room and board. No money to wash clothes. No money for books. $37,800.

I can hear it now, “But Kim, Wash. U. is private. You expect that at a private school.” You’re right, I do. But let’s take a little tour through tuition and fees at some public universities. I have picked these schools completely at random.

At the Univ. of Massachusetts, a Mass. resident will pay $5,116. per semester this academic year.

At UVa, a 1st year resident will pay $9,490 for the academic year.

At the Univ. of Maryland, a resident will pay $8,005 for the academic year.

At the Univ. of Pennsylvania, a resident will pay $37,526 for the academic year.

At the Univ. of North Carolina, a resident will pay $2,698.38 per semester this academic year.

At Ohio State, a resident will pay $8,679 for the academic year.

At Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, a resident will pay $3,782.24 per semester for this academic year.

At UCLA, a resident will pay $7,554 for the academic year.

 These prices are only for this academic year. All of them will probably be raising tuition and fees for the 2009-2010 academic year.

So we have a range of public university tuitions of $5,300 per year to $37,600 per year. How are families supposed to work out sending their child(ren) to college when there are such varying prices of attendance, and the costs go up every year?

More later.

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3 thoughts on “A Tour Through Tuition and Fees…..or The Costs of Education part 3

  1. My son is going through the college search process now, and we’re dealing with the same issues. I appreciate your column. I have one correction to make. As a U of Penn graduate, I can safely say that Penn is a private school, not a public one. The name may imply otherwise, but Penn, like the rest of the Ivy League schools, is fully private. Hence the excessive tuition. No public school (that I’m aware of) costs more than about $12k for tuition and fees.

    One other item, though. Through a combination of merit scholarships and financial aid, a desirable student may often find that his college offers him a significant discount on the “sticker price”. As long as the student doesn’t buy into the rat race game that’s so heavily promoted by publications like US News and focuses on matching the interest of the college with that of the student, a reasonably priced match may well occur.

    College, like life, is about finding the right place, not winning the game. Where you go to school matters not a whit in your life career. What you do there matters greatly.

  2. You know what’s funny?

    I’m looking at these pricetags for in-state residents and thinking to myself, “Dang! That’s a bargain!” I realize college is expensive — but the fact is that instate rates at state schools are relatively affordable. Here’s why I think so:

    I paid approximately $500 a month for my daughter to go to preschool full-time. $500 x 12 = $6000 a year.

    If you think college is expensive, try daycare. 🙂

    (Says the law student at the private university who is looking at $85k in debt upon graduation…)

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