PA's Most Expensive College Is...

Would you spend nearly $50,000 a year just on college tuition?

Pop quiz: Name Pennsylvania's most expensive college.

New data from the U.S. Department of Education released this week reveals the answer.

Bucknell University in Lewisburg captures the state's top spot with a gold-plated tuition price tag of $42,342 per year, the seventh highest in the country.

Room and board or other fees will set you back another $10,000, at least, and expect to pay more in the future: the school has set yearly tuition for the Class of 2016 at $44,900. 

Closer to home, Ursinus College in Collegeville ranked 63rd on the nationwide list with an annual tuition cost of $40,120.

The most expensive four-year private school in the study is Connecticut College, asking $43,990 per year for tuition. The data breaks out public vs. private, 4-year vs. 2-year and for-profit vs. non-profit institutions and is designed to help families navigate the college selection process with more transparency.

It begs the question: Is it worth it to spend so much on your degree? According to the Associated Press, half of all recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed.

Take our poll and let us know what you think in comments.

Lindsay M. June 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I graduated Villanova in 2002 and was left with $60K in debt. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I have an engineering degree form Villanova, a nationally recognized school, and friends that are the best. It's not for everyone, and it also depends on the degree.
Nancy K June 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Education is only what you make it. You can get a lousy education at a highly touted school, and a great education at a not so recognized school..it has more to do with the effort the student makes. One of my children went to Bryn Mawr and the school is very generous with grants and scholarships that made it very affordable. I know very few people that pay sticker price at private colleges.
linda spreeman June 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I think this varies profession by profession, but - by and large - if an employer wants a candidate to have a college degree, they don't particularly care where that degree came from, so long as it's a legitimate school. However, the name of the school CAN make a difference depending upon the profession. <Linda Spreeman, King of Prussia>
Rebecca July 09, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I completely agree. I'm a student at Ursinus right now, and I'm preparing to spend a year abroad in Japan starting this August. The school has been extremely helpful with allowing me to do this, and I know a group of students who are also going. Throughout my first two years in Ursinus I have been changing and growing, and I've really never been happier. I never saw myself becoming so interesting in East Asian Studies, but now I'm double-majoring with EAS as my second major and Japanese as my minor, and I really love it. Having said that, while the price of admission at Ursinus is worth it for me, I don't know about other schools, nor about even other grades in Ursinus. I got in on a lucky year where the school gave out money to a high percentage of the class. However, because they did that, they had to cut back by quite a bit, I've heard, for this last year of incoming Freshman, so much so that they apparently had to lower their standards in order to allow in kids who could afford to pay more tuition. But this is all hearsay. I hope it's not true. I've heard it from multiple sources, but none of those sources have been the school. As for other schools, I feel like the money might not be worth it, especially for the highest tier of universities. I know that many of those universities give priority to those with connections (parents or other relatives who attended, etc), which doesn't necessarily lead to a better education or academic environment.
Rebecca July 09, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Of course, that's not to say that I don't wish it were cheaper (or at least more well-known). I wouldn't want to go to any other school, but it would be nice if the tuition weren't so high. Even with my scholarship money, my student loan, and the money I get from my job, my parents are feeling the financial strain. They had planned on moving after I graduate, but now they're not sure whether they will be able to afford it. Plus, they're working their way towards retirement age, and they're worried about whether they will be able to retire on time. It's sad that they have to go through this, and it makes me feel guilty for choosing this expensive school over something cheaper like Penn State. But I know I would not have been as happy nor have learned so much at Penn State as I have so far at Ursinus.


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