January 12, 2007

The Rising Cost of College Education

Posted in FAFSA, Grants, Parent PLUS Loans, Stafford Loans, Student Loan News at 9:18 AM by Joe From Boston

Here’s an interesting article from USA Today on the rising cost of college education:

Rising costs make climb to higher education steeper
By Sandra Block, USA TODAY

“At a time when even entry-level jobs often require a bachelor’s degree, hardly anyone disputes the importance of a college education. Even so, many parents and students struggle to understand why college costs so much.

There’s no easy answer.

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a Democratic plan to reduce the cost of borrowing for college. But easing student-loan interest rates won’t provide much relief, critics say, unless lawmakers can somehow also slow the inexorable rise in the cost of college.

Laurel Hinshaw of Anchorage says her daughter, Marissa, is attending Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn., because she couldn’t afford a school closer to home. Marissa, a freshman, looked into several West Coast schools, Hinshaw says.

But “even with the scholarships they were offering, tuition was way out of reach for us,” she says.

In the past five years, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges has jumped 35% — after adjustment for inflation — according to the College Board. In the past 25 years, the average cost of tuition and fees has risen faster than personal income, consumer prices and even health insurance.

For academic year 2006-07, the average cost of tuition, room and board at a public university was $12,796; for a private school, the total averaged $30,367.

During the same period, the amount of federal direct aid — money that doesn’t have to be repaid — has declined, forcing more students to borrow. Nearly two-thirds of college graduates leave school with debt, up from less than half in 1993, according to the non-profit Project on Student Debt. And among those with loans, the average debt has jumped from $9,250 in 1993 to $19,200, a 58% increase after adjustment for inflation…”


Read the rest of the article from USA Today here.


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