ABSTRACT: Costs of a college education continue to increase faster than overall inflation. The debt students in the United States incur to complete college is also escalating. The purpose of this study is to examine the cost of obtaining an undergraduate and graduate degree in accounting and expected cash flows for the first ten years in public accounting for students with and without educational loans. We analyze CPA exam pass rates for any relationships between education costs and level of technical preparation for entry into the profession. We find that cash flow analysis of different combinations of costs, financing, and career choices reveals that monetary outcomes vary widely with different combinations. We find limited systematic differences of universities' CPA exam pass rates based on cost of education. This suggests that appropriate technical preparation for an accounting career is available to students attending universities across the cost spectrum.

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