I would find it very hard to justify spending $192K on an undergraduate education. My son will be attending a HA D1 school that only offers athletic scholarships. If he stayed in-state at the large public university, we would only pay for room & board thanks to academic scholarships available - but he would not play baseball. When evaluating offers, we focused on how much more it would be worth, in our eyes and within our budget, to go to a prestigious school and play baseball. We ended up close to the $44K scenario you described above. He would likely not have been admitted to this school without baseball. Whether it pays off in the long run is hard to know - so many variables - and it will depend on his eventual field of study.