A college or university's tuition is only one part of the equation.  The other parts are financial aid and the 4-year graduation rate.  When all factors are taken into consideration, a Cornell education is likely to be a more affordable option than one from a public university.  Data from the Project on Student Debt shows an average student debt of $26,252 for a Cornell graduate in 2013, while Iowa public university graduates average $29,700 in student debt.  The national average for public university graduates is $29,400.  So, Cornell graduates receive an excellent education and leave here with less debt than might be the case if they attended a public university.