CNN attempts to neatly summarize why the price of college tuition has been rising so much more steeply than the inflation rate, and whether graduates of expensive colleges actually get a decent payoff from their education investment.
Wesleyan gets a special shout-out as a prime example of an elite, high-quality school that is mad expensive for questionable reasons:
Calls to “give back” always seem to resonate at elite schools like Wesleyan, a picture postcard of academic abundance on its 360-acre wooded campus, complete with state-of-the-art film center, 7,500-square-foot fitness facility, skating rink, 11-building arts complex and a new $47 million student center offering everything from Mongolian grill entrées to organically grown coffee.
As for actually entering a career in public service, Graduate, good luck with that.
Ok college is ridiculously expensive, this is nothing new. The rest of the article brings up familiar points: elite schools spend way too much money on fancy buildings which could be spent on financial aid; this profligate spending is just an effort to increase college rankings that measure wealth, not quality, because this will increase application yield; and people think paying more means they get more from colleges, when that is not at all a guarantee.
Also, studies apparently showed that graduates of elite colleges generally end up with jobs paying similar incomes as the ones earned by those who were accepted by the elites, but chose to attend cheaper schools. Then there is the whole massive debt thing.
It ends on the note that at least you will have had a possibly excellent experience for your troubles?
…College, though, is also about forging lifelong friendships, being challenged by professors and students and sharing traditions – all of which are impossible to quantify. Still, there’s no reason to overpay for the experience. From a purely economic point of view, the best advice might be this: Save your money; you’ll need it for graduate school.
A little late for that advice, so basically as a Wesleyan student, good luck in this economy and don’t fritter away your increasingly valuable undergrad years, especially if you are paying a shitload for them.
CNN.com: Is college still worth the price?