Entries in Colleges (3)


Sarah Lawrence Tops List of Most Expensive US Colleges

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A college degree may be losing its value, but the price tag for a four-year education continues to rise.

The cost to attend college for one year exceeded $60,000 for the first time this year, according to Campus Grotto, a college publication that compiles an annual list of the most expensive colleges.

Tuition at more than 70 colleges is more than $55,000, according to Campus Grotto, and the sticker price often makes it necessary for students to seek financial assistance through student loans and other means.

Last year, the total student debt surpassed $1 trillion.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, nearly one in every five U.S. households is saddled with student loan debt.

The Pew Report found that 40 percent of all households headed by those younger than 35 had student loan debt. Among households owing on student loans, the average outstanding loan balance increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the meantime, the cost of a college degree continues to climb.

This year the cost to attend the most expensive college, Sarah Lawrence College, for one year was  more than double the average outstanding loan balance in 2010. The private college in New York’s Westchester County charges its students $61,236 a year for tuition, room and board and fees.

Here’s Campus Grotto’s list of the top 10 most expensive colleges:

1. Sarah Lawrence College
Total Cost: $61,236

2. New York University
Total Cost: $59,837

3. Harvey Mudd College
Total Cost: $58,913

4. Columbia University
Total Cost: $58,742

5. Wesleyan University

Total Cost: $58,202

6. Claremont McKenna College
Total Cost: $58,065

7. Dartmouth College
Total Cost: $57,996

8. Drexel University
Total Cost: $57,975

9. University of Chicago

Total Cost: $57,711

10. Bard College
Total Cost: $57,580

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twelve Colleges Whose Payoff in Pay Beats Harvard's

State University of New York Maritime College(NEW YORK) -- Graduate from Harvard and your friends and family may be impressed. Graduate from Loma Linda University, and you'll get a better-paying job.

According to PayScale, which tracks college graduates' starting median salaries, the latest crop of Harvard grads will earn $54,100; those from Loma Linda, $64,600.

Harvard's tuition and fees are $40,866; Loma Linda's $29,096.

Asked by ABC News to look for colleges whose new graduates earn more than Harvard's, PayScale came up with a surprising list of 12 schools. Forget Princeton. Forget Yale. Tell your son or daughter to throw away the leather elbow-patches and forget the ivy. What they want is a nice maritime academy or school of mines.

According to the list below, graduates of the Colorado School of Mines earn a starting median salary of $63,400. And they didn't have to dig themselves into a hole to get it: The cost of tuition and fees is only $17,718 for in-staters; $32,748 for out-of-staters. Sure, maybe they'll have to wield a pickaxe now and then, but, after work, they'll be the ones graciously picking up the tab for Harvard grads who forgot to wire home for money.

Graduates of the State of New York Maritime College in Throggs Neck, New York, may get awfully tired of having to explain what a Neck is; but they'll be compensated by a salty starting salary of $57,300. Even more so than the School of Mines, the Maritime College is a steal for in-staters ($6,782), and only somewhat less so for out-of-staters ($16,032).

PayScale has been producing its ranking annually for the past eight years. Lead economist Katie Bardaro says colleges that rank the highest tend to be those that concentrate on engineering, nursing and health sciences.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), for instance, stands out she says because it concentrates on computer engineering. In today's world, that's a good thing on which to concentrate: "There's lots of opportunity, and new graduates are paid very well. It's not as tough a market as some others"—e.g., 18th Century organ music.

Still, some of the schools listed here charge stiff tuitions. Rensselaer Polytechnic in Troy, New York, charges $3,600 more than Harvard. But the cost, thinks Bardaro, is more than justified by graduates' higher salaries.

The list below gives each school's name and location, followed by its graduates' median starting and how much they paid for tuition and fees. The cost figures come from U.S. News' annual college ranking.

1. Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA $64,600 ($29,096)
2. Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA $64,400 ($44,442)
3. Molloy College Rockville Center, NY $64,000 ($24,420)
4. Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO $63,400 ($17,718 in-state/ $32,748 out-)
5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Worcester, MA $61,200 ($41,380)
6. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) Terre Haute, IN $60,700 ($39,078)
7. Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA $59,800 ($32,159)
8. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Troy, NY $59,500 ($44,475)
9. Felician College Lodi, NY $58,700 ($29,400)
10. Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) Rolla, MO $58,600 ($9,350 in-state/ $32,666 out-)
11. Clarkson University Potsdam, NY $57,900 ($38,610)
12. State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College Throggs Neck, NY $57,300 ($6,782 in-state/ $16,032 out)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Collegians Ditching Dorms for McMansions

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MERCED, Calif.) -- At the University of California, Merced, one right of passage -- college students crammed into shoebox-sized dorm rooms -- is no longer.

For thousands of collegians, the life of the starving student has been traded in for the lap of luxury, many of them now living in sprawling new homes that were abandoned by foreclosures in one of the hardest-hit cities in the U.S.

These so-called "McMansions" are complete with spiral staircases, sparkling chandeliers and even Jacuzzis.

Third-year student Stephen Chang and five other engineering buddies live in a 3,300-square-foot house that has five bedrooms, four full bathrooms, a gas fireplace and a two-car garage. In the kitchen, there are granite countertops, a walk-in pantry and a stainless-steel sink and dishwasher. The dining room now serves as the Ping-Pong room and a place to store bikes. Chang even has his own bathroom.

They pay about $300 a piece a month -- about half as much as they paid to live in the school's dorms.

So many students have moved to these giant suburban homes that the university has shuttle buses to transport them to and from classes. Chang and Laird said that several other college students lived on their street and that the neighborhood was mostly made up of students.

"I guess it's kind of sad to see all these students living in such nice houses, when there could be families living there," Chang said, "[but] we are bringing income to this area, so better us rent these houses than have them just sit here and nobody rents them at all."

It's a win for the young university, which only has enough campus housing for about a third of its nearly 5,200 students.

"It's not a win for the people who lost their homes but it's a win for our students and for the campus that our undergraduate and graduate students have some really lovely places to live in," said Jane Lawrence, the university's vice chancellor for student affairs.

Some students' parents are swooping in and buying the homes as investment properties and the banks that are sitting on these vacant sites are benefitting. Even the neighbors don't seem to mind.

"They get in there and they're paying the rent and they're taking care of business," Michael Abarca said. "They are pretty quiet on the block."

Ellie Wooten, a real estate broker and the former mayor of Merced, said the university had greatly helped a community crippled by the foreclosure crisis.

"When you have students in [the homes], you don't have vandalism and people breaking in and that sort of thing," Wooten said. "There is a background check on their parents so the parents know they are responsible for their son or daughter living in this house. ... Businesses at large are doing a lot better because of the students."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio