As Tuition Climbs The Most Expensive Colleges Keep Pace
When my first child was born, my wife and I set a goal to save enough money to enable us to afford the most expensive colleges in the country. I put together a plan to invest in a conservative mutual fund that would grow into the amount I would need to fund four years of college. Not satisfied with aiming for the cheapest college, I did some research and set my sights on the most expensive colleges. I knew that prices would certainly go up in the ensuing 18 years so I set my goal to save twice the amount currently needed to go to the most expensive college in the world at the time, Harvard University.
In the unlikely event that my son turned out to be not as much of a prodigy as I thought he was and didn’t get accepted into Harvard I was in a perfect fallback position to send him somewhere else. In the worst case scenario I could think of, if he reached the age of 18 and decided to run away and join the circus I would be stuck with a huge pile of money. Not much downside, right?
Turns out my estimate that the tuition at the most expensive colleges in the country would double by the time my son reached college age was laughably inadequate. Ha Ha. Tuition at Harvard, for example, had almost quadrupled by the time college age rolled around. Today, the number of high school kids diligently studying for the college board exams has increased dramatically over the last 20 years and college tuition has more than kept up with the demand.
So, if you have young children and want to know what you’re in for, what are the most expensive colleges in the United States today?
In Order, The 10 Most Expensive Colleges
- Sarah Lawrence College (Yonkers, NY) $59,220
- Landmark College (Putney, VT) $57,150
- New York University (New York, NY) $56,800
- Columbia University (New York, NY) $56,310
- Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA) $56,258
- Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) $56,100
- Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, CA) $55,885
- Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) $55,650
- Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA.) $55,415
- Barnard College (New York, NY) $55,266
- Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) $55,166
Is It Worth It To Send Your Child To The Most Expensive Colleges You Can Afford?
For some people, being able to tell your friends that your son goes to NYU is worth the quarter million dollars it’s going to cost to actually get the job done. After that there’s the little matter of getting a job once he gets out. More and more kids these days are finding themselves strapped with a staggering burden of debt and no jobs to be found. If you took out a loan to pay for school the clock starts running six months after you graduate and they want you to start paying the money back. So, what can you do to avoid a situation like this?
Here are some things to think about if you have children you would like to send to college some day.
- Start a savings plan as soon as possible. A little bit every month can add up to a sizable amount by the time college bills start to arrive.
- Aim for a school that your child will do well in. You went to dentistry school but that may not be right for him. Keep his interests in mind first and don’t push him into something he doesn’t want.
- Once your child is in college make sure he understands that the whole point of this exercise is to get a job when he gets out. Good grades, a fulfilling life experience and a making lots of new friends is wonderful but every effort should be made to discover what line of work is right for him and work towards making that happen. Restricting yourself to the most expensive colleges you can afford may not be right for your child if it’s not what he wants to do with his life.