Right Now Blog: College Tuition Edition | 02.22.10

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid By Student Loan Network Staff

Without a doubt, one of the biggest anxieties about going to college or graduate school is the pricetag. Depending on the school, it can go anywhere up to $60,000 a year (including most fees, room & board, etc.), and what is more scary is the fact that those prices grow every year. The practice of taking out private student loans and performing loan consolidations is commonplace now in the higher education industry, alluding to continued growth in school costs and heavier financial burdens on incoming and returning students.

College Tuition Growth, 1990-2009

According to CollegeBoard, the popular college prep and testing website, the average tuition growth percentages are as follows for the USA:

  • Private four-year schools: +4.4%
  • Public four-year schools: +6.5%
  • Public two-year schools: +7.3%

There is no denying that this is alarming. Education costs are already sky high as is and if you do the math, an average student in a public four-year program will pay roughly $31,000 in tuition costs alone over the length of their program (not including the other myriad expenses a student encounters while in school.)

As a result to this, online education options have begun to gain more traction — not just because of their flexibility, but also their lower overall cost due to savings on overhead from not having to maintain entire campuses. If you find yourself struggling, they might be an excellent option to advance your education while still allowing you to work and making living pay.

What is being done? At the moment, there is a lot of talk about schools going as far as freezing tuition growth or severely capping the increases. They do understand that the costs are spiraling and it impacts their retention rates, as well as new admissions. In addition, some schools implement tuition freezes as a merit-based “scholarship” to those with an arbitrarily-set GPA or higher. You should consult your college’s financial aid department to see if there is such a program and try to earn it, if you aren’t already.

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