Tuesday, November 10, 2009
College Tuition: Going for Broke
Posted by Jorden Meltz
Cash-strapped families were dealt another blow this fall as tuition at public and private colleges for the 2009-10 academic year continued to outpace inflation, the College Board said in a report released on Oct. 20.
This year's College Board report shows average increases of 6.5% for public in-state tuition and 4.4% for private colleges. The consumer price index declined 2.1% between July 2008 and 2009, meaning that inflation-adjusted increases in prices this year are significantly larger than current dollar increases, the College Board says. At the same time, family net income has barely budged over the past decade, says Sandy Baum, a senior policy analyst with the College Board.
The spiraling cost of higher education comes at a time when institutions are reeling from the aftershocks of shrinking state aid, battered endowments, and significant budgetary pressures. Schools managed to temper some of these increases by doling out more institutional aid and grants to students, a move that made the sticker price less painful for the 18.5 million students projected to attend college this year. Last year, about two-thirds of full-time undergraduates received grants, with students receiving on average $5,041 in grant aid, up from $4,656 the year before, the report says.
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