College is much cheaper than you think

What’s the most expensive college in America? Ask Google, Princeton Review, or the Chronicle of Higher Education, and you’ll get the same answer: Sarah Lawrence University at $61,236.

It’s kind of crazy. No, not (just) the price. It’s crazy that when we talk about price, we often only talk about tuition, a sticker shock that only 35 percent of Sarah Lawrence graduates pay in full.

The Sarah Lawrence story is typical. Only a third of full-time students at four-year public and private schools pay the published price at a college. The vast majority pay a discount thanks to grants and other aid. For the typical student at a private non-profit college, the net cost of school is less than half the sticker price.