Monday, November 07, 2005

higher (priced) education?

private colleges today cost about $45,000 / year including room, board, tuition, books, expenses, health care, travel between home and school, and a little bit leftover for personal expenses. uc's are significantly less- about half as much if you live on/near campus, and a quarter of the price of a private college/university if you live at home. about 15 years ago schools cost $22,000 if memory serves. so the cost of higher education, both public and private, has gone up at about twice the rate of overall inflation. $200,000 for four years is a lot of dinero for almost anybody. and it's not just higher education- polytechnic school in pasadena, a private prep school, now costs around $25,000 vs free for public school.

then there's always the debate of public school vs private school (at all levels). are smaller classes more beneficial than lecture halls? are participation and discussion critical to the development of a young mind? this is of course assuming larger student bodies at state schools have classes that are more lecture- than discussion-oriented, and vice versa for private schools with smaller enrollments. do hanging out with some of the nation's elite brats help your child get ahead in life? do you measure "getting ahead" in the same way as trust fund kids and their parents? and if you do believe in the benefits of private education, how much of a premium would you pay? 50%? 100%? 200%? or better yet, consider the premium as a percentage of your income and savings.

anybody who's attended private school knows that although every school has its share, not everyone at private school is a spoiled brat. there are lots of kids there from humbler backgrounds, and there are also kids from wealthy families who work hard and aren't spoiled. and on the flip side it's also nice to go to a uc, make good friends, and wind up near your hometown 15 years later with many of your college buddies living nearby. when you go across the country to attend college it doesn't always turn out that way- you often wind up with friends scattered all around the world pursuing their very different lives, and as everyone gets older and busier it becomes harder to stay connected.

party on (that's what college is about anyway, no? haha)

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