An Amazing Graph: The Real Cost of College vs. College Spending Per Student

More

Two-year for-profit schools spend 87 percent less per student than the most selective colleges, but for low-income students, they cost almost 200 percent more ...

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.48.49 PM.png

Consider this graph a coda for my earlier piece, "Why Smart Poor Students Don't Apply to Selective Colleges (And How to Fix It)". It's drawn from the appendix of a new paper by Caroline M. Hoxby and Christopher Avery. The school categories -- "most competitive" through "for-profit 2-year" -- come from Barron's Profiles of Americans Colleges. (That book is controversial for many of the same reasons that every college guide is controversial, but it provides a good direction.)

You would think that schools that charge the most tuition would cost the most for all students and spending the most per students. Instead, richer schools tend to charge higher tuitions, which are paid fully by some students, but they also have more money to reduce the sticker price for low-income applicants. As Dylan Matthews said, high tuition prices creates a mental block for low-income students, since it's advertising a price that has nothing to do with final cost.

>

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Remote Warehouse Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In