How much does college cost? Nobody really knows

Published: Saturday, July 28 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Consistent with other coverage from the Deseret News on the rising costs of college, this piece in the Atlantic looks at the additional costs that are often hidden. The article suggests that as bad as reported costs are, they may actually understate the problem:

If you're a parent, and you don't suffer palpitations whenever the topic of paying for college comes up, congratulations: You're either unusually mellow, or unusually wealthy. Higher education is expensive, and getting more so by the year.

But how expensive? Ah, that's a trickier question. What we talk about when we talk about the price of a degree can be a bit murky, thanks to the vast variations in tuition, financial aid, and lifestyle choices that determine how much a student spends during their time on campus. For parents paying the tab, and for wonks who'd like to make higher education more affordable, it's useful to have a realistic baseline for how much a bachelor's actually runs these days.

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