In recent years the numbers are so frightening, people tend to mention them only in a whisper or with the caution that “of course we are getting some scholarship money”.  But here is the data published by the College Board for 2008-2009 based upon its averages.

                                                Tuition & Fees      Room & Board

Public College                       6,585                      7,748       

assumes attendance in–state


Private                                       25,143                      8,989


So, the public school option will require just under $50,000 in after tax income while the high priced spread is going to be a little more than double at $136,528. See


This author is embarrassed to report that his alma mater again garnered laurels as America’s most expensive private university with 2008-09 tuition of $40,437.  Housing ranges from $6-14,000 and food is another $2500-3500. This student graduated with annual costs of $4-5,000 a year in 1977.  In 2009 dollars that should yield an annual cost today of $14,500 to $18,000.  In real dollars, it means that the cost of college at this one institution is 3x the rate of inflation.  But then Washington today is a far different place than it was during the days for Ford & Carter.