College Tuition Sticker Shock: $50k Is New Normal
Chronicle for Higher Education -- For the nation's elite private colleges, $50,000 is fast becoming the new normal. Fifty-eight private colleges now charge at least that much for tuition, fees, room, and board, a Chronicle analysis of College Board data shows (see chart above of the top 15). Last year only five colleges did.
Six years ago, only two colleges set their tuition, fees, room, and board above $40,000, according to a Chronicle analysis of unranked data provided by the College Board. This year, the analysis shows, 224 are above that mark.
Generous aid packages on some campuses mean that many students pay far less than those prices, which do not include textbooks and travel expenses. But a number of students do pay full freight.
The Chronicle analyzed College Board data to calculate the average grant offered in 2008-9 by 42 colleges whose list price for tuition, fees, room, and board was more than $50,000 this year. Among the 42, the average grant per full-time student was just over $13,000. That means that the average bill last year for tuition, fees, room, and board, after grants, was about $36,000.
According to the College Board, tuition, fees, room, and board at private nonprofit four-year institutions increased 4.3 percent this year, to an average of $35,636. At public four-year institutions, average in-state list prices increased 5.9 percent, to $15,213, while out-of-state prices increased 6.0 percent, to $26,741.