Jonathan Franzen has a certain penchant for the odd sentence or two, but I suspect he puts them in there just to annoy B R Myers, since he is a wonderful writer. Here is one paragraph that I like - which might also shed some light on the cost of college question:
D—— College, with an elite reputation and a middling endowment, depended for its survival on students whose parents could pay full tuition. To attract these students, the college had built a $ 30 million recreation center, three espresso bars, and a pair of hulking “residence halls” that were less like dorms than like vivid premonitions of the hotels in which the students would book rooms for themselves in their well-remunerated futures. There were herds of leather sofas and enough computers to ensure that no prospective matriculant or visiting parent could enter a room and not see at least one available keyboard, not even in the dining hall or field house.
Franzen, Jonathan (2001-09-15). The Corrections: A Novel (Recent Picador Highlights) (pp. 33-34). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.