Many parents whose kids have their eye on an exclusive, private college face a difficult question: Is it worth unloading your life’s savings or having your child take on tens of thousands of dollars in student loans?
The average four-year private college costs over $42,000 a year for tuition, room and board, after all, while the average four-year public school costs less than half that — $18,943 for in-state students, according to the College Board. So the question is really, really important, especially at a time when nearly half of recent college grads have a job that doesn’t even require a degree.
Fortunately, for many Americans — white, middle-class kids — there’s an easy answer: Don’t pay more to go to a private college.
That means choosing the University of California over Pomona, the State University of New York over NYU and the University of Maryland over nearby American or George Washington.