Education: Now, $30,000 Diplomas

College costs, up 77% in a decade, are still soaring

Long before the first dormitory opened to signal the start of a new academic year, tens of thousands of parents had received those familiar and depressing envelopes with word from the college of their offspring's choice: tuition, room and board. All due immediately.

Naturally college bills this year turned out to be the highest ever. The average cost of education at a four-year private college has increased 6.1% over last year and has soared 77% since 1968. And for the first time, at some of the most prestigious private institutions, tuitions alone have...

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