With all the talk about how much it costs for a college education (about $250,000 for 4 years of tuition, room, and board at the top ranked private universities including Princeton University), it seems only natural that people would start asking why a 4-year degree costs so much? The answer isn’t as complicated as some people want you to think.
In the most simplistic terms, the answer is: you’re supporting a huge education machine where, in the case of Princeton, half of the total expenses ($920 million of the $1.8 billion in expenses (not including depreciation) are compensation-related costs for the 14,331 employees in 2016 (an average of $64,000 each). The next largest expense categories were grants (primarily to domestic individuals for undergrad scholarships and graduate fellowships) which totaled $320 million and office-related expenses (office, occupancy, IT, insurance) which came to $195 million, and interest ($143 million). Read more