Johnson, N. (2009) What Does a College Degree Cost? Washington DC: Delta Cost Project

The Delta Cost Project today released a white paper that describes different approaches to calculating what it costs colleges to graduate students with bachelor’s degrees. The study present a comprehensive analysis of the cost of degrees across the State University System of Florida. This represents a wide range of post-secondary institutions.

The study provides three different methods of analysing costs, dependent on how the question is framed. The results show very wide variations in cost, depending on the type of program (bachelors, majors, masters, Ph.D.), the subject areas, and the type of institution.

Extract (from the Conclusion) (It is strongly recommended that you download the full report, if you are interested in the costs of and method of costing, post-secondary education.)

‘..the question of degree costs is reasonable and should be taken seriously. It is also one that can be answered, though the answer will vary depending on the policy motivation and context for the question….

As cost and productivity issues continue to rise on the public agenda — both nationally with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and at the state level — policymakers should be sensitive to the challenges inherent in analyzing the costs of an enterprise as complex as American higher education while academics must recognize the legitimacy of their desire to do so.’

For a good article and summary of the report, see:

Lederman, D. (2009) What Does a Degree Cost Inside Higher Education, May 19


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