Forget That $90,000 Sticker Price: College Costs Are Actually Going Down

May 15, 2023

The sticker price at America’s priciest colleges is approaching $90,000, a milestone that has inspired fresh debate about whether college is worth the cost. But the numbers tell a different story. The “net” price of college, the amount students and their families actually pay, is going down. Almost no one is paying $90,000. 
The average student at a private, four-year college paid $32,800 in tuition and fees, room and board last fall, according to the College Board. Adjusting for inflation, the net price for private college has fallen by 11 percent in five years. 

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