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Skill Assessment: Just How Expensive Is College?
Skill:Problem Solving
Objective: Students will use the concepts of nominal costs and opportunity costs to determine
what the true economic costs of college are.
Problem you will be solving: How expensive is college and will it be worth it?
Complete the charts and questions below first. Follow the steps and labels closely.
Then, complete the written response posted at the bottom. This requires a half page typed
response, which will summarize your findings and demonstrate your skill of problem solving.
Part I. Determine Costs of Two Colleges
Nominal or Real Cost of College
College 1:CU Boulder
How did you get these costs?
Tuition and Fees (4 years):$40,992
I have a friend that goes to CU boulder so i
asked him how much it costs a year
Housing/ Commuting (4 Years):$54,494
I looked up the common rates for the housing
at CU
Books, Supplies (4 Years) It should be about
$2000 a year for books so about $8000 for
books total
Again asked my friend who goes to CU
Nominal or Real Cost of College 2
College 2:Oklahoma University
How did you get these costs?
Tuition and Fees (4 years):Non resident is
I'm on a tuition website
Housing/ Commuting (4 Years):$40,000 after
all 4 years
Housing website
Books, Supplies (4 Years)$9,666.50
Standard rates for books at OU
Opportunity Costs of College
Hourly Wage
Hours a week Weeks a
Year X
Total =
Total Economic Costs: Real/Nominal Cost of College + Opportunity Costs
Total Economic Costs of College 1:Being in debt for just about my whole life
Total Economic Costs of College 2: Not having money for anything because of how little hours I
would be working
Part II. Determine the Nominal/Real Benefits of College:
Annual Avg Salary X
Years Working X
= Total Life Income
Bachelor’s Degree
Link for stats: https://smartasset.com/retirement/the-average-salary-by-education-level
Part III. Conclusion and Problem Solving
Cost- Benefit Analysis:
After completing this chart, write a half page (double spaced), response explaining your findings
based upon your data.
What is the economic costs of the two colleges you want to go to? Is going to these colleges
going to be economically beneficial or costly?
The economic costs of going to CU Boulder would be way more expensive than going to
Oklahoma University but if i were to go to OU i would be leaving all of my family behind me in
Colorado. It’s going to be terrible because of the debt but i can just go to a community college
and spend less but and get the same education as everyone else yes it might not be from a
university but atleast I will have less debt to pay off.
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