05 June 2009

"And that made all the difference" (or should that be "sum")

Recently Congress mandated a "net price calculator." As an article in The Chronicle of Higher Ed states:

"Congress mandated the new feature last year to give prospective students a clear idea of the actual cost to attend each institution. The net figure will be derived from total cost—tuition, fees, room, board, and other expenses—minus average aid from all sources of grants (but not loans).

Colleges will be required to display the figures through a net-price calculator, a tool they will create on their Web sites."

How "clear" an idea exactly will students get from such a number?

My question is: Can schools factor in the cost to students -- if the don't attend (or attend a more, or less, prestigious university): career earnings potential, the trouble they may get into outside of school; the lectures, classes, and parties they'll never attend; other lost opportunities?

Come to think of it this calculator could be a real metaphysical wake-up call.

A financial rendering of "The Road Not Taken"!

Now THAT would be a tool worth puttin' on a website.

1 comment:

  1. Though, I often wonder how much better off I would have been had I followed a trade, and opened a business based on that trade. As an electrician, owning a company, I might be better off financially today than with the higher education I have... which today is looking like the high school equivalency of 1960 at a much higher personal cost. Where's the calculator for that?