The “True Crime” of College Pricing

Money to pay for college

It’s not a mystery. It’s not a breaking story. But college costs are a crime, a scam and a trap for most Americans yearning to better their lives, or at least make a decent living with an education to back you up!

This article is based on a true story, must be seen to be believed–and even then it might be tough.

In 2022-23, the average published (sticker) tuition and fees for full-time students are:

  • Public four-year in-state: $10,950, $190 higher than in 2021-22 (1.8% before adjusting for inflation).
  • Public four-year out-of-state: $28,240, $620 higher than in 2021-22 (2.2% before adjusting for inflation).
  • Public two-year in-district: $3,860, $60 higher than in 2021-22 (1.6% before adjusting for inflation).
  • Private nonprofit four-year: $39,400, $1,330 higher than in 2021-22 (3.5% before adjusting for inflation).


What’s worst than that? The rising costs of college tuition outpace the rate of inflation 171.5%. The average cost of tuition & fees at private 4-year institutions has risen 124.2% over the last 20 years for an average annual increase of 6.2%. Since 1990, average tuition and fee rates have increased 130% after adjusting for inflation.

Tuition makes up the majority of the costs associated with college, but it’s not the only cost. Most students’ tuition runs about 53% of their total cost of attendance. That means lodging, transportation, supplies and fees make up the rest of the total cost.

Tuition at most schools has gone up more than students can afford. Adjusting for inflation, tuition has risen more than 355% from 1963 to 2020. But in the last 20 years, tuition costs have surpassed inflation by more than 86%.

In 1970, most students were paying the same amount to go to school regardless of which kind of school they went to and what type of student they were. Today, a private, two-year degree is one-fourth the cost to attend a private, 4-year institution.

As American college students get ready for the new semester, many of them and their families have more on their minds than homework: the problem of paying is a national one. The questions of how much to raise on your own, student-loan and how to get the most bang for your bucks are debated at the highest levels of politics and around kitchen tables.

While other countries invest in their populations by providing free higher education for their citizens, the United States does not. Guns are easy to get, but education isn’t. Instead, students have to take out life crippling loans that are usurious and designed to keep you paying and paying until you die. It’s awful. But now there’s another way to pay for college.

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