Recently in the news, the University of Chicago projected to be the first U.S. university to cost $100,000 a year. By 2025, the cost of attendance at elite private colleges may reach the $100,000 mark, based on projections by The Hechinger Report using annual college cost growth rates from 2008 to 2018.

That would likely make the University of Chicago the first college or university in the United States to break the six-figure mark. Three other schools — Harvey Mudd College in California, Columbia University in New York and Southern Methodist University in Texas — are projected to cost almost as much.

However, fewer students are paying the full tuition. Is widespread discounting helping more people afford higher education, or just making it more complicated?

We discuss why costs are rising so fast and how middle class families can address this challenge of the cost of higher education.

If you want to learn more about list prices (what a college advertises) and net prices (what a student expects to pay based on income), we also recommend the updated Tuition Tracker, a Hechinger Report project that crunches federal education data reported by each institution into nice bite-sized pieces.

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