Friday, June 22, 2012

Dept. of Education Updates College-Cost List

This from College Bound:
Students looking closely at the cost of college will find updated information today on schools with the lowest and highest tuition—and where is it going up fastest—at the U.S. Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparency Center.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing some alarming trends," said Secretary of Ed. Arne Duncan on a press call this afternoon.

Between 2008 and 2010, the published price of tuition at public, four-year universities went up an average of 15 percent and the net cost rose 4.6 percent. The bright spot was at two-year, public institutions, where costs went up 16.6 percent but the bottom-line price paid by students increased just 1 percent in the same time.

Historically, community colleges have been more affordable and have developed partnerships with industry that keep costs down, said Education Undersecretary Martha Kanter on the call. Without the research mission of a flagship university (and costs that come with that), community colleges have been able to focus on teaching and learning, she added.

The national average for in-state tuition and fees in 2010 for four-year, public universities was $6,669. Topping the most expensive schools in that list was Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus ($15,250), University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus ($14,936), University of Vermont ($14,066), University of New Hampshire-Main Campus ($13,672) and St Mary's College of Maryland ($13,630). States hit particularly hard with budget cuts, and therefore, had big spikes in tuition, included California, Arizona, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Private, not-for-profit college tuition and fees averaged $21,949 with the following schools priced highest: Connecticut College in New London, Conn. ($43,990), Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.($43,564), Columbia University ($43,304), Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. ($43,190) and George Washington University in D.C. ($42,905). The average net cost of private, not-for profit institutions rose 9.7 percent from 2008 to 2010, according to the department.

The cost of attending a for-profit institution continues to outpace other higher education sectors, with tuition and fees at West Coast University-Orange County in California leading the category at $36,075 a year.

With household incomes remaining stagnant and college costs rising, higher education is becoming out of reach for many families. This website is an effort to help families become savvy consumers and get the most for their tuition dollar, said education officials.

The department first published the College Affordability and Transparency lists last year, fulfilling the requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. While some lists contain tuition and fees, others look at the net price so families get a snapshot of the true cost of attending for full-time, first-time students once grants and scholarships are deducted.

The department plans to release a report online of those colleges and universities (1,878) where prices are rising the fastest, why costs have gone up, and how the institution will address rising prices, according to a department press release. There are a total of 4,165 institutions included on the combined lists.


Anonymous said...

So if states are going to decrease our tax dollar distribution to universities, what else would one expect would occur at state institutions?

I am somewhat baffled though when people complain about paying what this report indicates is $7,000 a year for a college education. In most cases you will be provided instructional serves by about 8 to 10 terminal degreed professionals who are experts in their fields during the academic year. Additionally, undergrads are provided various other student support services like limited student health, social activity access, enrichment extentions, tutoring services, access to computer and field specific technology, extensive traditional literary resources, on campus transportation and security, etc. all for the academic year.

Comparatively speaking it wil cost an individual considerably more for just one basic surgical proceedure like gall bladder or tonsil removal done by one physician and a handful of skilled care givers in an event which will result in less than 23 hours in the hospital.

Look at the numbers, its not just economic bad times, its other things like our tax dollars going to pay for insurance carriers, medicaid/medicare and health care provider inflated pricing.

It may not be a fair comparison, but if your economic circumstances are preventing you or your family member from going to college, then chances are that your family has benefitted from state funds in some other capacity.

Actually, the ease of access to financial aid and student loans should facilitate anyone attending a university and those loans have always hovered around the 3% financing range unless Congress elects to bump them to the oh so burdensome 6% level at the end of this month.

Sorry, I just don't have much sympathy for folks complaining about paying for college when most drive to campus in vehicals which cost them more than their tuition.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting editorial in Lex. Herald today about student loans relating among other things how universities' increasing tuition, loan support for marginal students and a job market that doesn't have the openings for college graduates have created a student loan system which is increasing becoming a wasted investment. Universities are cranking up the tuition and taking federal loan money via thousands of students who are not prepared for college (much less timely or even successful post secondary graduates) in order to prepare them for a job market that is less than promising. Universities kicks up the tuition without federal limitations on loan amounts and aren't held accountable for student success much less repayment.

Not sure how "powerful" our own Maroon can claim to be when fewer than 1 in 5 incoming freshmen don't graduate in 4 years. Oh well, at least they can pick up some cheap student tickets for the shows at the art center or basketball/football games during their one or two years here. Mean while infrastructure deteriorates with only reactionary stop gap interventions, programs lack adequate faculty or support staff (guess we are suppose to be glad we aren't lossing our jobs like our big blue cousins up the road) and lose market share to little liberal arts colleges who offer online education at a faster and less expensive fashion.

Regardless of what pot of money or priority list one uses to justify the act, a person need only to look around the campus and see funds being spent on big ticket or observable items like adjacent property which will most likely not result in any sort of academic benefit and performance art centers being built when at least two or three others lie only a county away (when did our mission become providing big entertainment to local folks so they don't have to drive 25 miles to see the same show in the next community?) and realize that human resource value at EKU seems to only get lip service. Just like infrastructure, if you don't invest in updates and maintenance this most important resourse will also deteriorate. That is where our money should be going. Quit asking people to kick in and do more with less and either compensate them adequately for their work or else scale back organizational mission. (Sorry for going off on a tangent - just don't feel like we have a vision of where EKU is suppose to be a decade from now from an instructional stand point.)