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Inching Toward the $100,000 Sticker Price

Inching Toward the $100,000 Sticker Price

Inside Higher Ed

Josh Moody
April 3, 2024
For years, headlines have warned that the cost of attending college would eventually exceed $100,000-a-year at some institutions.
Law schools at Columbia and Stanford Universities and the University of Chicago crossed that threshold in 2019; some higher ed experts predicted that the most expensive private four-year institutions would join them by 2030.
Now that barrier could be broken as early as next year, some believe.
Following a sharp inflationary period in 2022 and rising operating costs for institutions across the U.S., the race to a $400,000 college education is heating up fast. And Vanderbilt University may have taken the lead, with total costs for some undergraduates now estimated at more than $98,000 a year.
While the sticker price is a figure few students will pay, the number itself may have significant psychological and political implications for higher education amid the ballooning student debt crisis and mounting skepticism from lawmakers and the public about the value of a college degree.
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