Why has the cost of college risen so much faster than the cost of everything else?
Here are three possibilities.
1. College is worth more
The income gap between people with college degrees and those with only a high-school diploma has exploded in the past 30 years.
In 2008, young men with a college degree made 42 percent more than those with only high school degrees, up from 16 percent in 1980. For women, the gap was 44 percent in 2008, up from 26 percent in 1980. (Those numbers are based on this table.)
So the economic value of college is higher, and it's rational for colleges to charge more.
More at the link of course. Not mentioned there is the continuing rise in demand, which also pushes prices upwards.