04/08/2011 02:57 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2011

Colleges Spend Less On Education Than They Say: Study

Think you're paying too much for college? You may be right, according to a new study that finds that most students spend more on their education than it is actually worth.

The study, released by the Center for College Affordability & Productivity and titled "Who Subsidizes Whom: An Analysis of Educational Costs and Revenues" (PDF) challenges the notion that most postsecondary institutions spend more on their students than students pay for tuition.

Based on figures determined by comparing tuition costs with absolute education and related spending, the report found that on average, total payment by the student exceed their cost to the university. At private 2-and 4-year colleges, net tuition exceeded achievable education and related spending. Further findings show that 52 to 60 percent of all students, and 59 to 87 percent of students at 4-year institutions, overpay.

Dartmouth College was cited, in particular, as one institution that overstates expenditure on students. According to the report, Dartmouth officials say the college spends $104,402 per student each year -- almost twice the annual tuition cost of $49,974. But the study finds that Dartmouth is spending $88,000 per student before instructional costs are even considered.

Check out the Center for more findings and details on methodology.

Do you think college costs are justified? Let us know in the comments section.

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste.