According to the College Board, the average tuition for a four-year private university is $22,218 for the 2006-2007 academic year.  This was up from an average of $10,330 in the 1995-1996 academic year.  (1)

This is more than a 115% increase, in just over 10 years!

The average four-year college student now borrows a little over $20,000 to finance their higher education.

      Students also now spend more time in school to obtain their four-year degree.

Studies show that:

... more than 60% of students now take a full five years to finish their four-year degree programs.

So, Is it WORTH IT?

      Yes, in spite of the rising time and monetary costs, the long term payoff is overwhelmingly worth it.   In 2000, the median annual earnings for workers with professional degrees was more than 3.5 times those of high school dropouts, according to the current occupational information from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Other sources state that over onesí working lifetime,

...a person with a four-year degree will earn about 3 times as much money
as a person who has only completed their High School education.

      The College Board informs us that average yearly room and board at a four-year public campus has a price tag of $10,636.    In comparison, this is less than half the cost of annual room and board at a private college, which runs $26,854.

      Average one-year tuition alone now costs $4,694 at public colleges or universities, and a whopping $19,710 at private learning institutions. (1)

Most Popular Fields of Study (2)

  Degree / Major                                                      Annual Starting Salary
Biology  $23,000
Business Administration/Management  $34,000
Communications  $25,000
Computer Science  $40,000
Economics  $31,000
Education  $30,000
Elementary Education and Teaching  $25,000 - $35,000
English Language and Literature $20,000 - $25,000
Nursing  $26,000 - $33,000
Psychology  $27,000 - $28,000 (2)

(1) - College online: 08/25/2004
(2) - The Princeton Review, 2003

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