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$100,000 annual tuition? Colleges smirk and say “it's no big deal” . . .

Photo above - actual Harvard dorm room. No fooling! They were recently renovated at a cost of $29 million. How does this compare to YOUR on-campus accommodations?

When I attended college (don't ask what year) financial advisors used to warn that attending a four year, full tuition school was like “buying a new car and driving it over a cliff. Every year, 4 years in a row” (if you graduated on time)

No doubt this warning spurred many people to take out student loans, which they still must repay, for cars that long ago went over the cliff. Well, the era of $100,000 a year tuition is at hand. Actually, it's $95,000 – but that doesn't include textbooks, cafeteria, dorm (if you live on campus – most colleges require this for freshmen), “fees”, and even supplemental student health insurance if the administrators determine your parents' policy doesn't meet the college's own standards. Yes, that's going to total up over $100,000 in a lot of situations.

I don't need to give you a full list of the inflationary/ambitious universities, do I? The usual suspects are there. The Ivy League schools. Surprisingly, the University of Southern California and “Harvey Mudd” college in California also made the list. Our two coasts are insane. You'd best flee inland if you value your wallet.

To be fair to Harvard, 95% of enrollees get a bachelor's degree. Eventually. It can take up to 6 years, according to Google. And of course, Harvard claims they pass out big aid packages. The net effect of reading their financial details is that you feel like a sucker if you paid the actual sticker price for tuition.

How much has Harvard tuition increased? It's doubled since 2019. Quadrupled since 2000. In 1930 it was $400 a year (honestly, I'm NOT making this up). The most popular major at Harvard is “Political Science and Government”. Uh-huh . . . this is the training ground for the upcoming ruling class in US government. If you look at post graduate work, the Harvard Business School and Law Department are heavy hitters. Because, you know, America can never have too many Wall Street financiers or attorneys.

Harvard gets close to $1 billion annually from the US government. To put that in perspective, it's equivalent to free tuition for 10,000 students. I'm beginning to see why so many students at Harvard are drawn to “government” and “law”. This is an endless feedback loop. However, there HAVE been rumblings in congress about trimming these grants back. Something about Harvard's recently departed president being a closet antisemite and plagiarist. Probably no more so than a bunch of the students, though.

What if Harvard's 1930 tuition ($400) had simply kept up with inflation, instead of growing faster? It would only cost $7,400 this year to attend. Not a typo - $7,400. The extra $90,000 they're charging, what's THAT for? In room wifi? Organic, carbon neutral, sustainable sourced cafeteria choices? Public charging spaces for EV cars? (If you live near campus, can you snap a picture of their Tesla Superchargers and post it here?)

Although I've linked (at bottom) to the $95,000 tuition article, I'm not going to pile insult on top of injury by citing any of the recent articles reminding us that a college degree isn't worth what it used to be. Unless if it's from an Ivy League school. Then it's a golden ticket.

The rest of us? Not so lucky. One of the baristas at a nearby Starbucks has a BA in philosophy. Not from Harvard – a state college. He can't remember why he picked that major, but still asserts he has “personal satisfaction” from that decision. And he also has unpaid student loans, and is no doubt on the short list to have them forgiven by the White House. Because, you know, America needs barrister/philosophers just as much as we need more lawyers, wall street sharpies, and “government studies” majors working as congressional staff.

I feel like a fool for majoring in Literature and History in college. And that my parents paid most of my tuition. The government is never going to listen to ordinary people like you or me. And I'm never getting my tuition back through loan forgiveness.

I'm just sayin' . .

College will cost up to $95,000 this fall. Schools say it’s OK, financial aid can numb sticker shock – Twin Cities
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