The admissions-cheating scandal prompts an investigation of other shameful developments, like the rising cost of college and the declining payoff for younger grads

Jack Hough:

New York University charges $6,500 for Calculus I. That’s tuition and fees, not books, residence, and a Vespa scooter. The rules of calculus were laid down more than 300 years ago by two guys in wigs. You can learn everything for free on YouTube. So where does all this pricing power come from? Hold that thought.

It’s not just math, and it’s not just NYU. The sticker price for the average private four-year college is now over $50,000 a year, including room and board. Do you know what else $200,000 in cash can buy a 22-year-old? A $3 million retirement, if the money is invested at about a 6% year return until age 68.

Stanford University let in 4.3% of applicants last year. It ranks among the top U.S. schools. The number of applicants has more than tripled over the past 30 years, but yearly enrollment has barely budged.