Talk about sticker shock: this year’s babies may end up paying over $110,000 a year for college, if costs keep rising at the same rate. Nope, that’s not a typo. As of last year, the cost of a year at one of the nation’s ten most-expensive private schools ran to $56,659 (that’s including tuition, fees, room, and board… but not textbooks). Factor in the 3 percent annual increase that’s been the recent norm, and the class of 2034 (or their parents) might be shelling out $422,320 for a four-year degree.
No matter how much financial aid tempers the cost, that’s a prohibitive price tag. (Consider the fact that families with at least one child have seen incomes grow only about 1 percent since 1987.) Some schools are trying to stem the tide themselves. Harvard pledges that students from families earning between $65,000 and $150,000 annually will pay a maximum of 10 percent of their family’s earnings each year. For the sake of the class of 2034, let’s hope that policy stays in place.