Monday, March 17th, 2014

2014 March Madne$$: The School Tuitions Of The NCAA Bracket

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It is once again time for the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament. The eventual champions will get to bask in the national spotlight. And sure, winning a basketball title is worth bragging about—but we all know the real champion is the institution of higher education that can charge the most tuition and still have enough students to keep its rejection letter printer warm. It's The Awl's annual NCAA bracket by tuition, using the college information resource Peterson's. (Where available, in-state tuition was used.) Since we first began March Madne$$ in 2009, the winning tuition has risen from $38,622 to $47,290.

Let's take a closer look.


What a finale! If you thought American had an inferiority complex before… well, it seems there is one more thing it can't seem to do as well as its Washington D.C. peers.

Congratulations to George Washington, with annual tuition of 47,290 George Washingtons, or about the cost of four years at either the University of Wisconsin-Madison or UCLA. Or 27 years of tuition at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the bracketed school with the lowest annual tuition—just $1,714. Update: Peterson's is way off for UMass; real numbers put North Carolina Central University into the win, with a tuition of $3,455.

• 2013 March Tuition Madne$$ Champ Bucknell ($45,132)

• 2012 March Tuition Madne$$ Champ Georgetown ($40,920)

• 2010 March Tuition Madne$$ Champ Richmond ($40,010)

• 2009 March Tuition Madne$$ Champ Wake Forest ($38,622)

(A final reminder about copyrights. )

Abe Sauer's latest book is the north woods parody "Goodnight Loon." He is also the author of the book "How to be: North Dakota–A Guide to the Plains" Email him at abesauer @

17 Comments / Post A Comment

dustym ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Wow, I didn't realize tuition in OK was so cheap.

keisertroll (#1,117)


Bobby Womack (#4,074)

At least one school is wrong – UMass Amherst, while a state school, is not <$2k a year. According to their own site, it's ~$23k for in-state students, and still $13k even if we're just talking tuition.

This whole bracket is thrown in to question!

Bobby Womack (#4,074)

@Abe Sauer All is forgiven. I feel for the parents that use that tool to push their kids towards an affordable school and then end up with sticker shock!

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Bobby Womack I feel for the parent who, after his kid said he got into UMass-A, checked Peterson's and was all, "Whew. That's awesome! Now I can get that bass boat" Only later to learn, after buying the bass boat, the real tuition.

hockeymom (#143)

@Abe Sauer Not to mention those of us who are basing our kid's college education on The Awl bracket.

@Abe Sauer: I think all college tuition should be put into terms of bass boat regret.

I almost went to SLU. They gave me 10k a year in scholarship money but it still wasn't enough. 6 years later I graudated from Truman State and have a less than a years worth of SLU tuition in debt for my 4 years there.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Can you update us again with how much $$$ you do or don't get from all the sports websites that will steal this?

r&rkd (#1,719)

Whoooooo go Colonials! (This being the only time of year I care about that school at all.)

andnowlights (#264,534)

KSU is playing UK, not EKU. Totally different schools.

MarcusBrody (#264,541)

I knew Wichita State was cheap, but we're the cheapest in our bracket?! This is just another reason to be proud of my alma mater. Good (decent) education at a discount! GO SHOCKERS!!!

seriously? (#264,648)

HAHAHAHAHHA you made fun of american university YOU ARE SO FUCKING CLEVER!!!!!! see, because IT'S SO FUNNY! they can't even be as good as GW at overcharging assholes for their education, in a bracket based on sports records- no wait, just the men's basketsball team's record alone! AHAHAHAHAH, HILARIOUS!

Haha, I went to American for grad school and my boyfriend went to GW for undergrad and grad. Never been so proud!

idrathernot (#264,876)

This is amazing.

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