Paying for College

Going "Ivy" on A Budget

Got a quarter-million bucks to shell out for an Ivy League degree? Well, first you have to get in, but let's not worry about that right now. Single-digit acceptance rates aside, the prestige factor of an Ivy League degree has driven many families and students into massive long-term debt. Some never recover and some never seem to recoup that level of "investment." What's the alternative? What if you want a top-notch education but have neither the cash to pay nor the desire to strap on the millstone of debt?

Well, Edward Fiske has selected his group of so-called "Budget Ivies." As the his press release explains, "For families whose income has remained stagnant during the recession or dropped dramatically due to unemployment, tuition costs are likely to be near the top of list when considering which college their child will attend. Tuition and fees rose on average about 6 percent at U.S. colleges and universities (both public and private) between the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school year, according to the College Board. Public four-year colleges charge, on average, $7,000 per year in tuition and fees for in-state students and $11,500 for out-of-state. Private four-year colleges charge, on average, $26,000 per year in tuition and fees." Not a pretty picture.

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