OpenCourseWare and MOOCs exist in a landscape of increasingly expensive higher education. The Atlantic explains the economics at work that can help us understand why colleges cost so much:

Different schools are getting expensive for different reasons… The most important reason that public schools are raising tuition is that their states are cutting education spending. The most important reason that private schools are raising tuition, however, isn’t state budgets shrinking, but rather the schools’ budgets swelling, as they spend more on research and campus amenities to attract the world’s best and brightest. To learn more, watch the video.

This video does not address the price of college after financial aid. For students planning to apply to MIT, please keep this in mind: Ben Jones, former Director of Communications for the MIT Office of Admissions, says “I still meet students who tell me they can’t apply to MIT (or to Oberlin, where I now work) because they’re certain they can’t afford it. Given how much effort these places put into broadcasting their financial aid policies, this boggles my mind. Spread the word: if you get in, MIT will make the money part work for you. Period.