The Christian Science Monitor has an article on College tuition which references work done at Williams.

Can I afford to attend one of America’s elite, and most expensive, schools? That question is addressed in a report released in January by researchers with the Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education. The Williams College study measured the affordability of a college degree from highly selective private colleges by comparing actual net cost – not the “sticker price” – paid by students with those students’ family incomes.
Surprise! While the average sticker price at the 28 schools studied was 66 percent of median family income, the Williams researchers found that the average student’s family in fact paid only 23 percent of its income. The researchers didn’t have sufficient data on all 28 elite schools to look at cost trends over time. But for the 10 schools they were able to track, the researchers found that, while the average sticker price went up 9 percent between 1998 and 2003, the actual price paid after aid and self-help (loans and campus jobs) actually fell in all but the highest of five family income categories.

Only 23 percent? Pretax? This is the good news?

You can download the original article here. The authors are Provost Catharine Hill, Economics Professor Gordon Winston and Stephanie Boyd. I think that Stephanie Boyd is the wife of Computer Science Professor Bill Lenhart, but that is a guess on my part.

In any event, my interest in the financing of higher education at places like Williams is only going to grow over the next decade, so I look forward to future articles on the topic from WPEHE.

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