Does It Matter Where You Go To School?

In the wake of The Chronicle releasing its annual survey of college tuition, which revealed that 58 private colleges charge at least $50,000 for tuition, fees, room, and board, David K. Randall of Forbes asks, “Is a private school that charges $50,000 a year worth it?”

He quotes a Forbes story from 2007 that would seem to suggest the answer is a no:

In the end, should students and parents just stop fretting over the high cost of elite universities and instead opt for a lower-priced public college? Probably. It turns out that where students go as undergraduates doesn’t help them earn more money over their lifetimes, according to a 2002 study by Stacy Dale, a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, N.J., and Alan Krueger, a Princeton economics and public affairs professor.

Now, there are a million rebuttals to this, most of them dealing with how vital it is for students to find a college that “feels right,” etcetera, but in times like these this sort of practical approach is an attractive one.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.