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What is the true cost of college?

I love the podcast series, Freakonomics, on most topics. Now they have created a 2 part series about the true cost of college. There is the economic cost of not going and what a student loses in lifetime earnings. There is also the actual costs with college tuition, fees, books, room and board and all the other hidden costs that students and parents might not have considered. Part 1 of the Freakonomics podcast first explores the world of fake diplomas and then dives into the economic realities of owning a college degree. Part 2 dives into the costs of attending college, why the costs have increased so much as well as demand has increased. One thing I didn't know: when the private school tuition goes up it is because expenditures are going up per student. When public school tuition goes up it is usually to make up for lost state funding. Other interesting facts here:

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