Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, October 23, 2013
Good news for all those struggling college students out there: College tuition rate increases are starting to plateau, according to a new report released by The College Board Wednesday.
The College Board, a nonprofit organization that promotes college access and sponsors the SAT college admittance test, found that in-state tuition rates for students at a four-year public university rose this year by just $247 to $8,893 – the smallest one-year increase reported in more than three decades. Average costs at private universities for the 2013-2014 academic year went up $1,105 to $30,094, while the tuition cost for an out-of-state student at a public university went up $670 to $22,203.
“This does not mean that college is suddenly more affordable,” said economist Sandy Baum, the co-author of the Trends in Higher Education report, according to USA Today. “It does seem that the (upward tuition) spiral is moderating. Not turning around, not ending, but moderating.”
According to the report, New Hampshire and Vermont boast the highest published in-state tuition fees at a four-year institution, while Wyoming and Alaska have the lowest published in-state tuition fees.
While these numbers don’t take into account the loans, grants, tax credits and deductions that also lower the cost of college for many students, the report found that the amount of federal aid full-time students are receiving this year dropped by 9 percent, or about $325.
Last year, $238.5 million in federal financial aid was issued to undergraduate and graduate students. Students borrowed another $8.8 billion from private, state and institutional sources.
“The rapid increases in college prices have slowed, however, students and families are paying more because grant aid is not keeping up,” David Coleman, the president of the College Board, told The Associated Press.
Molly Corbett Broad, the president of the American Council on Education, which represents school presidents nationwide, believes it’s “troubling” that the amount of federal grant aid students are receiving isn’t on par with the increases in tuition over the past few years.
“Institutions are committed to holding down costs, but it is equally important for state and federal governments to play their part to make college affordable,” she told the AP.