Controlling Student Debt – First Make Sure Tuition Cost Is Right

College debt is a topic we have been exploring in the last several posts.  The idea that the amount of debt you have when you get your degree is very dependent on the costs you take on at the beginning of your schooling.  Tuition is by far your biggest cost.  Buzz TodaySource: The annual tuition (Harvard University MBA) is $51,200 and it is severely discounted for at least half the students. In fact, Harvard’s average fellowship support per MBA student was $29,843 last year, essentially a 58.3 percent discount on that annual tuition.

The question you have to be asking is, “how do you control the tuition cost in the first place?”   For every college or university you are considering you must know what the true cost of tuition is.  In BUZZ Today here, we can see what the tuition costs truly are at one of the most prestigious programs in American higher education.  The degree is an MBA from Harvard University.

What the BUZZ data tells us, is that the “list” price of the degree is $51,200 per year.  By list price we mean the price published on the university web site for a year of enrollment in the program.  Every university has a published list price for their tuition.  It is this list tuition that is quoted when referring to the degrees being offered.  If you do nothing, this list price is what you will pay when you enroll.  This is true for every degree from every university.  The point is that what you actually end up paying is entirely dependent on what you do or don’t do.

The debt control comes in with the second half of the BUZZ data.  The actual (discounted) tuition cost for the students enrolled in the Harvard MBA in 2012 is shown to have been, on average $29,843.  This results in $29,843 less debt a student would have to repay after graduation.

The bottom line is that even in the hugely prestigious Harvard University MBA the average actual tuition price paid is 58.3% less than the list tuition price.

No matter where you decide to go to school it is very important that you take full advantage of the discounted versus list tuition cost at every university you are considering.  For detailed information on the list versus discounted tuition for every American higher education institution see Chapter 9 in my book Your Future Is Calling.