Is an Ivy League education worth the price?

Ivy Leagues offer lots of prestige and hefty price tags.

Low Memorial Library at Columbia University, a private Ivy League school in Morningside Heights, New York is seen here. Are Ivy League schools worth the extra tuition?

It’s a question I am asking this week, as my oldest daughter hears about her admission status at the 7 schools she’s applied to–4 of them Ivies, who do not give any merit-based aid. As I tweeted yesterday, she’s received a national merit scholarship of $2500 (one time) to any school she decides to attend, but that is only about 1 percent of the 4-year cost of her going to Dartmouth–which in a money-blind contest she picks as her first choice.

There are big reasons why her dad and I chose to raise our (four) children in northern VA when we first decided to come work in Washington, DC, and two of them are called “U VA” and “William and Mary” (or is that three of them?!)–note their places in this Kiplinger “best value” ranking. She’s gotten into both. As an “Economist” and a “Mom” readers will understand why I find this agonizing.

If you are willing to follow my agony over the next few weeks, I am willing to share…

I am looking for advice everywhere–from Ivy League grads who believe they wouldn’t be where they are today were it not for their Ivy League education, to Ivy League grads who regret graduating with so much debt, to public university grads (like myself) who don’t believe life could have turned out that different had we gone to an Ivy League school instead (and who paid off their small loans rather quickly after graduation).

And naturally I’ve been scouring the internet, which is how I found the ABC News video above with the very bright young man who is the CEO and founder of–a fascinating site that features “insider” info on colleges and which I had never heard of until tonight when I was googling on this very question.

Stay tuned for updates, and feel free to advise!

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