Ahead of Higher Ed: Cost of college takes a hike

Tuition is rising everywhere for many reasons, and federal funds aren’t increasing enough to offset the the augmentation of tuition.

According to a study done by The College Board, universities have slowed down rising tuition costs, but despite the respite, federal financial aid still isn’t capable of combating inflation and tuition hikes. True, aid is increasing — just not by enough.

“Because of increases in aid, the average net price for full-time, in-state, public four-year college students was $650 lower — in 2013 dollars — in 2009-10 than it was in 2008-09,” the report found. “However, between 2009-10 and 2013-14, average net price increased from $1,940 — in 2013 dollars — to about $3,120.”

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, grants from colleges and universities grew by almost 5 percent last year and are expected to further increase this year. However, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and research professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Human Development Sandy Baum, co-author of the report, does not personally expect this from federal aid.

“The federal government is not going to continue to cushion the growth in tuition,” Baum said to Inside Higher Ed. “We have no reason to believe that the federal government is going to stop helping students, but everyone would be surprised if they decided next year to increase aid dramatically again.”

The number and amount of student loans are likely to increase as tuition does, but total education borrowing has decreased by 8 percent over the last two years. However, Inside Higher Ed reported that from 2002 to 2007, the nation saw a 55 percent increase.

Thus, students are forced to play the waiting game when it comes to financial planning for college.

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