College Tuitions

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The cost of college tuition seems to only go up.

Physics teaches us that what goes up must come down, but college tuition has for years defied the principles of our universe. For the 2012-2013 academic year, Sarah Lawrence College ranks as the single most expensive university in the United States at $61,236. Coming in as the second most expensive university in the nation is New York University at $59,837. In third is Harvey Mudd College at $58,913. In fourth comes the most expensive Ivy League college — Columbia University. With a tuition of $58,742, going to school in the most expensive city in America raises that sticker price.

In fifth is Wesleyan University with a tuition of $58,202. In sixth comes Claremont McKenna College with an annual tuition of $58,065. With the seventh highest tuition in the nation, Dartmouth College ranks as the second most expensive Ivy League college at $57,996 per year. Drexel University comes next with a tuition price of $57,975. The University of Chicago comes in at $57,711, while Bard College comes in at $57,580 a year.

Do you think it’s odd that some universities in big cities rank as some of America’s most expensive schools while so too do some universities in rural or suburban areas? As an example, Columbia is in New York, New York. Dartmouth is in small-town Hanover, New Hampshire. And yet their tuition prices are not very far apart. Why do you think that is? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below! And do you think college tuitions will ever drop?

Ivy League Debts

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Students at Harvard University, on average, graduated in 2010 in $10,102 of debt (with 34% of graduates carrying debt). Photo credit: Jacob Rus.

It’s difficult not to hear about rising student debts during these tough economic times. But what’s the data like for Ivy League graduates, you ask? According to The Institute for College Access & Success, among the Ivy League colleges (excluding Columbia since they did not participate in this survey), the average debt for 2010 graduates was highest at Brown University. At Brown University, the average loan debt was $22,468. Graduates of Cornell University graduated with an average of $20,648. Dartmouth College? $18,712. How about the University of Pennsylvania? $17,013. Harvard University? $10,102. Yale University graduates? $9,254. And how about Princeton University? $5,225.

But that’s just the average loan debt for graduates of these Ivy League colleges. That’s only part of the story. What percentage of 2010 graduates were in debt, you ask? The highest percentage of students who graduated in debt in 2010 in the Ivy League was at Cornell University with 52%. Next up? Dartmouth College close behind at 51%. After Dartmouth comes the University of Pennsylvania at 43%, Brown University at 41%, Harvard University at 34%, Yale University at 28%, and Princeton University at 23%.

For college graduates in general, the average grad carried $25,250 in debt — a figure higher than the average debt at each of the seven Ivy League colleges reporting data. Does that surprise you — given that Ivy League colleges tend to be among the pricier universities in the nation? Does it not surprise you? Let us know your thoughts on Ivy League debts by posting below!

Veterans and Ivy League

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The G.I. Bill will still cover the full cost of college tuition for military veterans – even the high cost of Ivy League tuition.

There’s an inaccurate article out today in “The Huffington Post” about veterans and the Ivy League. We’re wondering where the writer did his/her reporting (no by-line is listed). In the article, it says that many military veterans face a cap on their college tuition from the G.I. Bill – at $17,500 a year. But do not fret or fear, military vets, as this isn’t actually the case as Congress unanimously passed the “Restoring G.I. Bill Fairness Act” back in August 2011. There will indeed be no cap on college tuition for military veterans who honorably served our nation.

It’s disappointing that “The Huffington Post” would overlook this act passed by Congress in their reporting as the article unnecessarily scares veterans that their tuition won’t be covered…especially at Ivy League colleges where tuition exceeds twice the $17,500 cap cited by “The Huffington Post.” We first reported on Congress’ passage of this act for veterans furthering their educations back in August.

Anyhow, the piece in “The Huffington Post” does have some correct information concerning veterans and Ivy League colleges. If you’re curious which Ivy League colleges tend to be the most friendly to veterans, nearing the top of the chart for 2012 are Columbia University and Cornell University. In fact, in Columbia’s General Studies program, a program aimed specifically at older students, 210 students are military veterans. According to “The Huffington Post,” that’s 50 more students than just three years prior.

Ivy League Grads

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Ivy League grads pay a lot of money for their degrees but the data indicates the investment is well worth it.

There’s an article out today in “The Wall Street Journal” that focuses on high school students who are rethinking attending Ivy League colleges because money’s tight and, frankly, Ivy League educations cost quite a bit of money. The article features one student who, while he was admitted to Cornell University, chose instead to enroll at a City University of New York school. He wanted to save his family the high cost of tuition. He also knew that he wanted to be a doctor and that his family was going to be on the hook for four years of medical school tuition after college. The student figured it’s better to invest in the medical degree than on investing in the bachelor’s degree.

According to “The Wall Street Journal,” article on Ivy League grads, “Such choices meant families across all income brackets spent 9% less – an average of $21,889 in cash, loans, scholarships and other methods – on college in 2010-11 than in the previous year, according to the report. High-income families cut their college spending by 18%, to $25,760. The report, which is released annually, was based on a survey of about 1,600 students and parents.”

But what “The Wall Street Journal” doesn’t tell you in this article is what an Ivy League degree can do for one’s career (check out our post The Ivy League and Career). It doesn’t include the line that it’s often who you know, not what you know though it does say that many top firms recruit exclusively out of the Ivy League. McKinsey, for instance, won’t hire you unless you attended an Ivy League school. Or Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

The article does, however, point out an interesting fact that we’ve never brought to your attention before. If you’re admitted to an Ivy League school and choose to attend a CUNY school instead, do you always want to wonder where you’d be in your career had you chosen to attend an Ivy? We don’t think so. You don’t want that kind of regret, that “what if.” If you’re admitted and your family can afford it, go. Figure out the money after.

Columbia University Tuition

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Columbia University tuition tops the Ivies while Princeton University doesn’t cost quite as much to attend.

A couple of months ago, we showed you the 2011-2012 tuition statistics for seven of the eight Ivy League colleges. The data for Columbia University tuition, often the most expensive Ivy League university, wasn’t yet in. It’s in now. For undergraduates at Columbia next year, tuition will be raised by $1,000, marking a 4.98% increase, according to the “Columbia Chronicle.” The tuition hike was 3.3% for the previous academic year. Graduate students at Columbia will have to endure a 7.5% tuition hike.

Columbia tuition will now be $57,684 a year by our records. This figure includes tuition, room, board, and fees. Columbia University will thus maintain its position as the most expensive Ivy League college for undergraduate students. Dartmouth tuition stands at $55,365 for next year, Cornell at $54,645, Penn at $53,976, Brown at $53,136, Yale at $52,700, Harvard at $52,650, and Princeton at $49,069. Princeton is the least expensive Ivy League college.

Check out our blog on Ivy League Tuition as well as our post on why College Tuition goes up at a much higher rate than inflation. And take a look at the “Columbia Chronicle” article on Columbia’s Tuition Hike.

Ivy League Tuition Costs

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Of all the Ivy League colleges, Dartmouth’s tuition went up the most this year.

Tuition costs in the Ivy League are on the rise again. Shocker. Dartmouth saw the highest tuition hike at 5.9%. Princeton saw the lowest hike in the last 45 years at 1%. While Columbia has not yet announced their tuition hike the university will, in all likelihood, end up being the most expensive Ivy League university. Princeton currently ranks as the least expensive at $49,069 per year.

Below is the 2011-2012 breakdown for the cost increases at the Ivy League schools accounting for tuition, room, board, and fees:

Columbia University – TBD – 2010-2011 cost was $56,684

Dartmouth College – 5.9% increase – $55,365

Cornell University – 4.5% increase – $54,645

University of Pennsylvania – 3.9% increase – $53,976

Brown University – 3.5% increase – $53,136

Yale University – 5.8% increase – $52,700

Harvard University – 3.8% increase – $52,650

Princeton University – 1% increase – $49,069