College sticker price (cost of attendance) keeps going up! GASP! Planet Money reported in a recent article that average college cost of attendance rose in the last 5 years by 24% for public colleges and 17% for private colleges. Aren't we kind of getting bored of seeing this same news story year after year? Or is this just a reminder of the convoluted economics of higher education? I think it's really the later.
Colleges and Universities have locked themselves into a death spiral of financial irrelevance. If it means anything, it's a marketing nightmare. More money is poured into higher education funding, so consequently college prices go up. And more money is poured in, so prices go up more. And more money is poured in, so prices go up more... and so on, and so forth, ad naseum. It just never seems to stop. All it does is create a more and more complex financial situation that is barely understandable to a Harvard economist let alone the average American family.
In one corner, we have rapidly rising college costs. In the other corner, we have rapidly expanding financial resources for students. The rising college costs get most of the attention making college appear further and further out of reach to students. While at the same time, the expanding financial resources are keeping actual out of pocket costs reasonable, but only for those who take the time to study the blindingly ridiculous economic model this combination has created.
Ah... I'm getting on a rant now. It just frosts me how this system of paying for higher education just keeps getting more and more ridiculous every year.
The moral of the story is to make sure you study and stay on top of this mess we call paying for college.