Remember that some colleges do not cost 44K a year. While all colleges come with a price tag, sometimes a student has to consider the cost of the university as well as the prestige and reputation of the school. There are ways to cut costs of studying at the university level, but all college educations will be expensive. Consider that the university has many overhead costs to cover. They have to maintain a campus, buildings, grounds, staff, and services. Your tuition helps to keep the entire university running and not just the teachers and services you personally use. Unfortunately, the economical troubles of the day aren't helping university costs. Students generally have less money and it is harder to get student loans. Overhead costs like food, power, etc are skyrocketing. It's difficult for both sides. I'm sure many schools would love to offer a free education to those that wanted it, but they simply can't. They have to strike a balance between their own expenses and a reasonable cost.