$368,428: that’s how much it will cost on average to complete four years of private college around the year 2033, according to projections by Wealthfront, Inc. Meanwhile, four years of in-state public tuition will amount to the bargain price of $158,400. We’re skeptical about these numbers and challenge the assumption that the higher ed tuition bubble will continue to grow without correction. For one thing, there’s that birth dearth coming.

For those attending school a little sooner than 2033, CNBC has compiled a list of the “Top 10 Cheapest College Towns,” and fortunately they are all displayed on one page, without one of those insufferable click-through slide shows.

US News and World Report summarizes what has become a common, cost-cutting tactic: spending the first two years of school at a community college, then transferring to a better-branded insitution for degree completion.

In spite of record-low unemployment, the number of teens who have exited the labor force has spiked, according to The Victorville (CA) Daily Press. One factor: higher minimum wages have discouraged hiring and encouraged automation.

In northeastern Tennessee, a merger of health systems resulted in layoffs of about 150 mostly administrative positions but also in hiring of 255 new nursing staff. Generally, it seems nursing will continue to be a rock-solid career choice, enjoying high demand, high salaries, and broad portability.

Drama continues in the merger plans within the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. Although (as we reported last week) the regional accreditor has rejected the plans, system president Mark Ojakian told the state’s Board of Regents that he wants to move forward with consolidating the redundant campuses somehow. Ojakian has received criticism since he first announced the merger concept. “I believe you are a good man but it’s time to walk,” said one CCSU faculty member.

Where will Kentucky get its freshmen now? In a reversal of one of the most ludicrous distortions of the “student athlete” concept, the NCAA’s Independent Commission on College Basketball now recommends elimination of their “one and done” rule, which currently requires top high school players to pretend to be college students for a year before moving on to the NBA. The frank language of the NCAA’s own press on this topic reveals that it is clearly worried about the reputation of college basketball, saying the organization is committed to “fix” issues which are “corrupting the sport.”

Utah Valley University will host a two-day National Summit on Dual-Mission Institutions in Higher Education. They define the dual-mission model as “the intentional merging of community-technical colleges and four-year universities under one roof, or where community colleges offer four-year degrees.” They also note the international nature of this trend, which is growing in the UK and Canada as well as in the US.

RIP Bainbridge State: this small Georgia college held its final commencement last week. Bainbridge has now merged into Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College–the ninth such merger in Georgia, as the state seeks greater efficiency in its public college system.