Cost a major factor in college selection, finds survey


A recent UCLA survey found cost was a big factor among college selection for recent freshmen. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A survey by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that cost is becoming more of a factor in college selection. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as federal loan funding is drying up as tuition is going up, alongside the fact that it should be in the first place.

UCLA survey says cost matters in college selection

College selection is a pretty big deal. There are a lot of things to consider. Distance from home is a big one. Getting there, moving in and subsequent trips home during the holidays involves a lot of logistics. Academics are another, as one certainly doesn’t want a worthless degree from a diploma mill and certain colleges are known for specializing in particular fields. Campus life is another, because quite frankly college can get boring.

If one is considering a college that isn’t co-ed, it’s also going to get pretty lonely.

Another consideration is cost. According to USA Today, a recent UCLA study found it’s fast becoming the largest factor in college selection. It should be; one shouldn’t pay more for a degree that’s just as good somewhere cheaper.

Good deal of freshmen consider it

UCLA researchers polled almost 193,000 freshmen from 283 colleges, finding that 66.6 percent responded that economic conditions were a factor in their decision. The same survey conducted two years ago found 62.1 percent of respondents asserted that then.

Cost of attendance at the institution respondents chose was a factor for 43.3 percent. Their first choice being unaffordable was a factor for 13.4 percent and a lack of financial aid from their first choice of college was a factor for 9.5 percent.

They should

It bloody well should be a factor in college selection. Those costs are going up. The College Board, according to the Wall Street Journal, found as of 2012 tuition has gone up by 13 percent since the 2007-2008 school year at non-profit private colleges, inflation-adjusted, but a whopping 27 percent at public universities.

They may not pay the whole amount, though. Most universities contribute some financial aid and as a result, the net price, what students actually paid, increased by18 percent for public colleges and universities and fell by 4 percent at private non-profits. Additionally, roughly 86 percent of incoming freshmen received some sort of grant over 2011-2012, though universities often front-load grants, meaning seniors get more funding from loans than freshmen.

Graduating into a world of hurt

The thing about college is that armed with a degree, one is that much more likely to stay in work their whole life. Unemployment is lower among college graduates, last year’s figure, according to the Huffington Post, was 4.4 percent, about two-thirds of the overall unemployment rate. Estimates for combined recent graduate unemployment and underemeployment ranged as high as 53 percent, according to a 2012 article in the Atlantic.

According to CNN, a survey by the Project on Student Debt, part of the Institute for College Access and Success, found that as of 2011, almost two-thirds of all graduates did so with student debt. The average debt was $26,600.

Harder time of employment and high chances of getting saddled with debt? Students better think about cost during college selection.


USA Today

Wall Street Journal

Huffington Post


The Atlantic:

Previous Article

« Middle class battles robot invasion


Unemployment is high in America, and has been for several years, with the rate stubbornly resistant to increase. There may be more behind that, however, than the recession, the subsequent economic downturn, job outsourcing and the policies of this or the previous administration. A new report suggests that, as technology [...]

Next Article

Super Bowl revelry threatened by chicken wing shortage »


It isn’t exactly time to panic, but it is time to be aware if one plans to have chicken wings on the menu for the Super Bowl. A chicken wing shortage is being reported, as this year’s drought has depleted feed stock and the number of chickens available for use [...]