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.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.