WASHINGTON – In-state students at public four-year universities and colleges face higher tuition and room and board increases than students at private schools.
A series of reports released by the College Board on Monday examines trends in higher education costs and the amount of financial aid being awarded to students.
Tuition for in-state students at public four-year institutions increased 6.6 percent,or $381,from the 2006-2007 academic year to 2007-2008. Room and board increased 5.3 percent,or $371,from the previous year. The total cost for an in-state student increased 5.9 percent,or $752.
That comes to an average of $13,589 for the current academic year.
With the rising cost of a college education,it's important to make sure people have the tools to attend college,Gaston Caperton,College Board president said.
“The average student who leaves college leaves with a $20,000 loan,” he said,adding that's about the price of a new car. “That's a pretty good investment for a student to make.”
For out-of-state students,the percent increases are slightly less,but they end up paying more than their in-state counterparts.
Out-of-state students are paying 5.5 percent,or $862,more this year than they did last year for tuition. Room and board increased the same amount as it did for in-state students. The total cost for out-of-state students attending a public institution increased 5.4 percent,or $1,233,for an average of $24,044.
Public colleges and universities receive less state funding than they used to,which drives the cost up,said Sandy Baum,a senior policy analyst who compiled the reports for the College Board.
“State and local appropriations are a very important part of the financing structure,” she said,adding that states are spending more on higher education,but not more per student.
Private four-year nonprofit institutions had the second-highest tuition increase at 6.3 percent,or $1,404. The cost of room and board increased 5 percent,or $406. Total for tuition,room and board averages $32,307 at those schools.
Tuition at private for-profit institutions had the third-highest increase at 6.2 percent,or $703. Few of these schools have dormitories. The total annual cost of tuition and fees averages $12,089.
“To have the best education system in the world costs a lot of money,” Caperton said.
Total student aid,which increased 82 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars in the past 10 years,helps offset the rising cost of higher education. But spending on student aid has also risen because more students are attending college and getting aid,Baum said.
In 2006-2007,$130 billion in financial aid was awarded to students.
Undergraduate federal borrowing increased 51 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since the 1996-1997 academic year,but decreased 3.1 percent from 2005-2006 to 2006-2007. The number of people using private undergraduate loans increased 12 percent,and borrowing from state programs jumped 20 percent. In 2006-2007,undergraduate and graduate students borrowed more than $18 billion from state and private sources.
“As the price of college goes up and family incomes don't rise fast enough,grant aid doesn't fill the gaps and people need to borrow more money,” Baum said.