Measuring College Prestige vs. Cost

Posted on April 22nd, 2013

The merits of attending an expensive, prestigious private school over a lower-priced public school have drawn even more scrutiny as of late, with students and parents struggling to figure out how to afford college and whether it’s worth the investment.

The NY Times examined several studies and spoke with college experts about the value of a degree from an elite college. Their conclusion on whether higher-priced colleges are worth it may surprise you:

“Equally smart students had about the same earnings whether or not they went to top-tier colleges. The big difference, their studies found, came from minority and low-income students who went to top-tier colleges: They did better later on.”

The problem for most high school seniors choosing a college, however, according to Sarah Turner, a professor at the University of Virginia, is that they are making “a choice under uncertainty” since most students are unsure of whey want to do for a career and, thus, whether they will earn enough to pay back expensive student loans.

With student loan interest rates set to double in July, it’s imperative for future college students and their parents to minimize student loan debt, especially if the student is not sure whether he or she will enter a high-paying field after graduating.

This means carefully considering your college choices, taking into account all associated costs (and the fact that these will likely rise each year), and being honest with yourself about your future plans and ability to repay your loans.

Category: College Costs

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