Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Earn a Degree Without Going Broke

Copied and Pasted by Daniel Powell

Kim Clark is the expert on paying for college at U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges. And even though the rate of increase is declining, a college education can still cost you an arm, a leg and many other body parts. She speaks with NPR about how to pay for college without growing broke. So how bad is the increase?

The price of a year of college is up about 6 percent this year. That's one of the lowest rates of increase in several years, but it's still rising faster than wages, inflation and financial aid. Even the net price that people paid after all kinds of tax breaks and grants is still rising 2 to 3 percent a year after inflation. College is just becoming less and less affordable.
And there are other reasons why a degree costs more.

The average public university student now takes more than six years to graduate. It's not clear why. Some of it is that more students need remedial courses that don't count toward a degree. Students are also working more. They're changing majors. Some programs like engineering are just going to take five years. The federal and state governments have added lots of requirements for teachers, so they pretty much need five years. Also, a lot of university administrators talk about "credit creep." For example, to major in English or journalism, many schools have actually increased the number of courses you have to take because they want to make the program more rigorous. That makes it harder to graduate in four years. Penn State, for example, is trying to reduce the number of courses needed for many majors to counteract the trend and make it easier for students to graduate in four years.

The original article in its entirety can be seen HERE

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