Private US Colleges Set to Charge Over $90,000 Annually, Costs Predicted to Exceed $100,000 by 2026

Soaring college costs in the US, with some private universities charging over $90,000 annually, highlight the urgent need for affordable higher education solutions like tuition-free community college programs.

Ayesha Mumtaz
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Private US Colleges Set to Charge Over $90,000 Annually, Costs Predicted to Exceed $100,000 by 2026

Private US Colleges Set to Charge Over $90,000 Annually, Costs Predicted to Exceed $100,000 by 2026

Several private U.S. colleges plan to charge students over $90,000 annually for tuition, fees, and expenses in the 2024-25 academic year. Vanderbilt University has quoted a total cost of $98,426, while Tufts University and the University of Southern California have estimated costs of $95,888 and $95,225, respectively.

Experts predict that the escalating costs may soon cross the $100,000 threshold, with attendance expenses at universities already exceeding $90,000 potentially surpassing $100,000 as early as 2026. This steep rise in college costs is part of a broader trend, as tuition and fees at private universities have surged by 40% over the last two decades, after adjusting for inflation.

Why this matters: The skyrocketing cost of higher education at private colleges in the US is raising concerns about affordability and accessibility for many students and families. As tuition prices continue their upward trajectory, it highlights the need for comprehensive solutions to address the growing student debt crisis and ensure equal opportunities for all aspiring college students.

While President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan is seen as a 'Band-Aid' solution, some experts believe that making community college tuition-free could be a more effective way to combat the college affordability crisis. Currently, 35 states have some type of tuition-free college program, with New Mexico's Opportunity Scholarship being hailed as the most extensive, covering returning adult learners, part-time students, and immigrants regardless of their immigration status. Since its inception in 2022, New Mexico has seen a nearly 7% increase in overall college enrollment, reversing more than a decade of declines.

Key Takeaways

  • Private US colleges plan to charge over $90,000 annually by 2024-25.
  • College costs may exceed $100,000 by 2026, up 40% in 2 decades.
  • Affordability concerns raise need for solutions to student debt crisis.
  • Tuition-free community college programs, like in New Mexico, show promise.
  • Short-term loan forgiveness vs. long-term tuition-free solutions debate.