How geography dictates the price of higher education

Dive Brief:

  • breaks down how different states can impact the cost of higher education, based upon cost of living, prices for good and services and the types of degrees available in certain schools.  
  • The report cites data from to identify Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Florida and Utah as the nation’s most inexpensive states in annual in-state tuition. New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois are the most expensive, thanks to the high concentration of affluent communities in the northeast and the proliferation of various industries in the region.
  • The Street also identifies real estate as a booming economy in college towns, which allows students and families to reduce total costs through purchasing or leasing cheaper housing near college campuses.

Dive Insight:

This report sheds additional light on new realities for college enterprises nationwide. First, it underscores the need for campuses to more closely align their academic products with the needs of the surrounding region, to more effectively match workforce needs and economic development trends. By doing this, colleges lessen the worry about discontinuing majors and programs due to industrial shifts by way of political change or innovations in technology and transportation.

The second is a continuing example of how real estate continues to be a critical area of emphasis for colleges in the way of student housing, but also in mixed use and economic development. The process doesn’t come without its own set of unique headaches, as we’ve seen in Princeton and with the University of Washington, but it does suggest that anchoring communities with business and education are the key for institutions to grow, even in lean times.

Filed Under: Higher Ed
Top image credit: jschauma