Oct 15, 2012

Area Colleges are among the Nation's Most Expensive

Sarah Lawrence College
What do Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and George Washington have in common? They all cost over $55K per year to attend and they all made it onto the list of most expensive colleges in America, according to numbers recently compiled by Campus Grotto.

Between costs approaching $60,000 per year, an astonishing increase in student loan defaults, and over $1 trillion in student loan debt, it’s clear that something’s to give or we’ll be seeing tuition and fees hitting $130,000 per year by 2030, according to number crunchers at Campus Grotto.

College costs began increasing at rates faster than inflation in the early 1980’s.  Seventy-four colleges now charge over $55,000 per year—an increase from 19 last year and only one the year before that.

And for the fifth consecutive year, Sarah Lawrence College in New York has the dubious honor of being the most expensive college in the nation and is the first to officially reach and exceed the $60,000 per year milestone.

Locally, Johns Hopkins ($57,320), Georgetown ($56,362), George Washington ($56,310), Loyola University of Maryland ($54,550), the University of Richmond ($53,970), and American University ($53,455) all found spots on the top 100 list of most expensive colleges.

Yes college is getting more expensive, despite press releases from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) announcing that tuition at private colleges rose only 3.9 percent—the smallest increase in at least four decades. In fact, it appears that the market can bear much more as many of the nation’s most expensive institutions have seen no drop in demand while continuing to inch up tuition and fees as well as room and board.

But running counter to the trend, Mount Holyoke College, consistently on the top 100 list, actually froze total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board) for 2012-13 and projects no potential decrease in applicants for spots in the class of 2017.

Although generous aid packages mean that most students don't pay sticker price, it’s fair to say college is rapidly becoming a luxury outside the means of middle class families. While aggressive building campaigns and upgrades in other campus amenities may account for a huge hunk of the need for higher revenue, it’s also true that increased need for financial aid among students figures into the equation. And according to NAICU, private colleges have responded by increasing institutional student aid budgets by an average of 6.2 percent for 2012-12.

But it’s a vicious cycle depending heavily on some students paying full freight while colleges continue to gamble that the economy will improve enough for them to stop dipping into endowments some time before the bottom falls out.

For the record the top 10 most expensive colleges for 2012-13 are

  1. Sarah Lawrence College ($61,236)
  2. New York University ($59,837)
  3. Harvey Mudd College ($58,913)
  4. Columbia University ($58,742)
  5. Wesleyan University ($58,202)
  6. Claremont McKenna College ($58,065)
  7. Dartmouth College ($57,996)
  8. Drexel University ($57,975)
  9. University of Chicago ($57,711)
  10. Bard College ($57,580)

And the colleges with the highest tuition and fees are
  1. Columbia University ($47,246)
  2. Sarah Lawrence College ($46,924)
  3. Vassar College ($46,270)
  4. George Washington University ($45,780)
  5. Trinity College, CT ($45,730)
  6. Wesleyan University ($45,628)
  7. Carnegie Mellon University ($45,554)
  8. Bucknell University ($45,378)
  9. Tulane University ($45,240)
  10. Union College, NY ($45,219)

No comments:

Post a Comment