Cost of college continues to rise

The cost of college continues to go up. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The hopes of high school seniors for lower college costs have been dashed, according to a recent report issued by the College Board. The educational foundation has just released a report showing that the cost of college rose dramatically in 2010 and shows no sign of stopping.

Declining state revenues forced tuition rates higher

According to MSNBC, the recent survey of higher education costs by The College Board, a non-profit educational foundation comprising several thousand institutions of higher learning, revealed tuition went up by 8.3 percent this year for in-state students at four-year colleges. The increase is mostly attributed to decreased state funding, as state allocations have decreased by 18 percent during the past three years.

Increases varied by state, but California had the highest with a 21 percent tuition hike. The College Board also found tuition for in-state students at public universities increased by 7 percent, without counting California.

still cheaper than private

The cost of one year’s tuition and fees at an in-state four-year public university increased 8.3 percent to $8,244 for the 2011-2012 school year, according to ABC. Total costs, which include room and board, rose 6 percent to $17,131.

Tuition and fees for out-of state students at public colleges rose 5.7 percent to $20,770, a $1,122 increase from the 2010-2011 school year.  Total costs rose 5.2 percent to $29,657.

Private schools have higher prices, lower cost hikes

Students at private, non-profit universities had lower tuition hikes but still paid more than their public school counterparts. Tuition and fees at private, non-profit schools rose 4.5 percent to $28,500, a $1,235 increase from 2010. Total costs rose 4.4 percent to $38,589.

Private for-profit universities showed a 3.2 increase in tuition and fees from 2010, rising to $14,487. Public two-year colleges increased tuition by 8.7 percent to $2,963, a $236 increase.

More than half graduate with debt

The College Board also found that 56 percent of students who graduated from public four-year colleges in 2010 did so with debt, averaging $22,000 in student loan debt, according to MSNBC. Students graduating from non-profit, private colleges were more likely to graduate with debt at 65 percent in 2010, $28,000 on average.

According to ABC, the average full-time student receiving financial aid in 2010 received $12,455, including $4,907 in loans, $6,539 in grants and $1,009 in tax credits, deductions and other funding such as Work Study.

However, less than 10 percent of college students attend colleges charging $36,000 or more for a year’s tuition. About half of all students who attend any non-profit school, public or private, pay less than $10,000 per year for tuition.

However, costs don’t reflect what people actually pay. Federal Pell Grant spending dramatically expanded over the past few years. The average Pell Grant for students was $3,828 for the 9.1 million who received them.

Cost still outrageously inflated

According to CNN, tuition and fees at public universities increased by 130 percent between 1988 and 2008. One year’s tuition and fees, when adjusted for inflation, cost $2,800, compared to $6,500 in 2008. Median income for Americans declined by $400 in the same period, adjusted for inflation. However, given lower unemployment and higher lifetime earnings among college graduates, it still costs more to not go to college than to go in the long run.





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