Students attend St. Joseph's College graduation ceremonies at Nassau Coliseum....

Students attend St. Joseph's College graduation ceremonies at Nassau Coliseum. (June 1, 2010) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

I commend Newsday for illustrating how higher education costs affect thousands of families on Long Island ["Comparing college costs," News, June 13]. College tuition is one of the most significant investments families make.

Yet, good intentions notwithstanding, the conclusions reached offer only a limited window. By focusing solely on percentage changes, the analysis misses the larger point: the cost of attendance. This is what Long Island families care most about.

As a commuter liberal arts college, the net price of St. Joseph's College makes it the most affordable private four-year college on Long Island. The calculation of net cost includes tuition, room, board, fees, books and supplies, minus what the student receives in aid, grants and scholarships.

That said, a college should offer much more than just affordability. In analyzing costs, students should also ask themselves, "What value am I receiving for my investment in a college education?"

Christopher Frost, Patchogue

Editor's note: The writer is the academic dean for St. Joseph's Long Island campus.

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