Being back in school AND being the mom of a teenager, I am keenly aware of the cost of college tuition. The X and I invested in the Virginia Pre-paid College Tuition program when Miles was in 2nd grade and I am so glad we did. Paying for college is still an issue though, because we still have to pay his room and board and if he goes out of state we'll have to pay anything over the highest virginia tuition. Since his college years are only about 30 months away I have really started thinking and talking about this topic with Miles. Today I found a link on CNN.com that gave the list of the ten most expensive schools in the nation:
Sarah Lawrence $55,788
Parsons School of Design $52,400
George Washington University $51,775
Johns Hopkins University $51,690
Washington University in St. Louis $51,329
This list made me curious as to what the schools in Virginia were charging these days. I am a student at George Mason Unversity, but I am only taking one class at a time (which runs almost $1,000) but I needed to see the full time tuition to compare. I clicked another link on CNN.com that took me to a site where you can check the tuition of most any school in any state. I found the Virginia list pretty shocking for its disparity. I guess I never really knew the difference between the costs of the private schools in Virginia vs. the state schools. We are so lucky here in that we have so many fabulous state schools in our lovely commonwealth. After reading this list, I'm just not sure why anyone would go to one of the private schools, unless it was in their own backyard, or their parents worked there, or they had a full boat scholarship. I mean seriously, Ferrum and Bridgewater each cost 4 times as much as Va. Tech or Mason. Are you really getting a better education?
From my own family, I know that personality and school size are important factors too. My sister wanted a small school, it just fit her personality and learning style better. She went to Roanoke College which happens to be where my father went as well. It is a beautiful school and Roanoke is one of my favorite areas of Virginia, but I personnally would not be able to justify the cost. My sister reads this blog so let me say right now that I am not passing judgment on her decision but I'm curious as to how she feels about it now that she's out in the "real world" and having to pay back student loans? Katy? Feel free to comment...
BTW, Katy has her own blog now so skip on over there if you'd like to follow the life of a young single girl in Brooklyn!