College Degree Still Considered Good Return On Investment Despite Climbing Costs

Ann McClure's picture

It was her oldest child’s first day at college, and Chris DeBoer was all smiles as she and other family members helped 18-year-old Mary DeBoer settle into her new dorm room in Western Michigan University’s Bigelow Hall last week.

“We’re excited and proud,” Chris DeBoer said about Mary, a graduate of Stevensville High School who is majoring in biochemistry.

If there’s one source of worry, it’s the expense.

“We have the defibrillator in the car,” Chris DeBoer joked about writing the check for her daughter’s first semester.

But as her expression indicated, the cost of college is no laughing matter. Add up tuition, room, board, books and miscellaneous expenses, and this year’s expected cost to attend Western is $22,270 for undergraduates who qualify for in-state tuition.

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