Pricey Pedagogy: The $50K Club


As if college isn’t expensive enough comes word from the Chronicle for Higher Education that more than 60 colleges now charge at least $50,000 per year for students to attend their schools. That’s right, $200,000 over four years and you better hope that your son or daughter doesn’t dither his or her way through school.

Equity Time

Break open the piggy bank cuz youre going to need every cent to help pay for college.

Break open the piggy bank 'cuz you're going to need every cent to help pay for college.

Certainly, the listed costs equated with these schools are their “sticker price” which means that grants and student aid can lower final costs considerably. Still, for medium wealth families aid is not a guarantee which means that some students and their families may have to foot everything. Time to tap the equity in your junior manse!

There are two things which seem to be contributing to this trend:

Firstly, college costs continue to rise at twice the rate of inflation. No one knows for certain why education is rising at such a rapid rate or what can be done to slow the process. Some argue that hiring and retaining faculty costs more money while others point to new programs, buildings, even sporting venues as contributing to the sharp rise.

Secondly, last year just five colleges broke the $50K barrier. This means that that the trend toward higher education costs is continuing unabated despite a sour economy and with high unemployment weighing in. Many of the pricey schools have large endowments, most of whom also lost millions if not billions of dollars when the stock market sank last fall.

Surging Costs

As recently as six years ago, just six colleges had topped the $40K mark but now 224 have reached that threshold. Some see the rapid rise as a portent that prices will eventually peak while others are dismissing concerns and saying that a ceiling isn’t anywhere withing reach.

The most expensive of them all? Why that would be tiny Sarah Lawrence College who charges a princely $55,788 for her students followed by Landmark College ($53,900), Georgetown University ($52,161), New York University ($51,993), and George Washington University ($51,775).

Visit the Chronicle for Higher Education website to read – The $50K Club: 58 Private Colleges Pass a Pricing Milestone – and whether some schools are reaching a tipping point. And what would that be? The tipping point is when families decide to look elsewhere for their schooling, sending all important enrollment numbers spiraling downward.

Adv. — Is your family experiencing a financial shortfall this academic year? Scholarships, grants, 529 money, and part time work may not be enough. Learn about private student loans by visiting, your portal for college financial assistance. We have free tools for your download and updated information about current college financing requirements.


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Categories: Campus News, Finance