Six-Figure Price Tags Are Coming to Colleges
The rising cost of college, particularly at the nation’s most prestigious institutions, could soon top $100,000. As these numbers continue to rise, students and families will inevitably be priced out of the most selective— and elite— colleges.
Although many families receive some amount of financial aid to offset the sticker price (the full cost of tuition and fees), colleges depend on tuition revenue more today than they have in the past. Higher Ed institutions face a choice: to stomach an uncertain financial future, or to exclude the many, many students unable to pay such lavish prices for a college education.
The Atlantic explains this trend, and what it means for the future of college affordability:
As admission rates have dropped, the cost of attendance has increased—a correlation seen at many highly selective schools. By 2025, the University of Chicago’s sticker price is predicted to pass the $100,000 mark, which would make it the first U.S. college where attendance costs six figures, according to a new analysis by The Hechinger Report, an education-news outlet. The analysis suggests at least a handful of other U.S. colleges will follow suit soon after Chicago hits that milestone, including California’s Harvey Mudd College, New York City’s Columbia University, and Texas’s Southern Methodist University.
And after that, given the way American higher education has been going, it likely won’t be long before six-figure prices are common among selective colleges and universities. The [colleges] that are expensive are the ones that students want to apply to,” explains the Seton Hall University professor Robert Kelchen, who studies higher-education finance. “Being expensive is seen as being good—if one [elite] college is 20 percent cheaper than another [elite] college, students are going to wonder what’s wrong with it.