Doing some more math...if you put the 4-year cost of a Carleton education, $224,600, into investments, and only got back 3% a year, that would give you an annual benefit of $6,700 per year. In addition, instead of wasting four years paying others, you could easily make $20,000/year at a low-end job. That's $80,000 in your pocket, instead of $224k going out--a swing of over $300,000.
Of course, the $224k number doesn't take into account interest on loans. According to this loan calculator, assuming that Carleton's tuition will be 5% higher next year ($54,715), and an incoming freshman borrowed that entire amount, they will have to pay back $67,920 just for their first year--24% more than the initial loan of $55k. Carrying out the calculations at 24% overall loan interest, and a 5% tuition increase each year, that comes to approximately: $292,700 (Grinnell comes to $265,500).
So would a student whose family saved for college and could cover the cost be better off pocketing the cash?
Would a student who had to borrow $300,000 for a high-end diploma be better off getting a job instead?
Is the piece of paper from Carleton, Grinnell, or another high-end college worth $300,000?