Why College Students Should Be Outraged Today, in One GIF

A line chart presenting the price increase from 1984 to 2013
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Housing and medical costs have soared over the past 30 years, but their rises are nothing compared to the exploding costs of college, according to price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average college tuition has risen by a whopping 553% since 1984.

Here's a calculation that should help put that figure into perspective. Average tuition at a private university was $30,094 in the 2013–2014 school year, according to the College Board. If in the next 30 years tuition continues its climb, rising by another 553%, average private tuition would grow to an incredible $196,514.

And for public tuition? Students paying in-state tuition would see a rise from an average of $8,893 to $58,071.

The increase in college costs over the past 30 years has been nothing short of breathtaking. The chart above confirms that today's college students face a financial burden that their parents never knew when they were in college.

And it's also a sobering reminder to high school students that college requires careful planning. The college years can be incredibly rewarding. But they come at a rapidly increasing cost.


h/t American Enterprise Institute