Blog: The Educated Reporter

Reports: Slower Growth in College Tuition, But Students Still Swamped by Debt

(Flickr/Light Brigading)

College graduates in the class of 2013 typically left campus owing closing to $30,000 in student loans, according to a new report out today. That’s a record high, and up 2 percent over the prior year, the Project on Student Debt reports.

But as Kim Clark pointed out in her coverage for Money magazine, there was some good news, as “31% of students earned bachelors’ degrees last year without having to borrow a penny, up 2 percentage points from the class of 2012.”

Also out today is a new report on college financial aid from the College Board. Researchers found that, for a third consecutive year, the total amount of money borrowed by students had declined. Tuition prices are also growing at a slower rate than in previous years. 

From Kaitlin Mulhere of Inside Higher Ed

But while the rate of price increases is slowing, the accumulation is still formidable, as Sandy Baum, one of the report’s authors, points out. For public four-year colleges, the published tuition and fee prices are 3.25 times higher than they were 30 years ago. At public two year-year and private four-year colleges, the prices are 2.5 times higher.

“We’ve been living with these price increases for a long time, and people have been living with this cumulative effect,” said Baum, a professor of higher education at the Graduate School of Education & Human Development at George Washington University.

You can expect discussion of both reports during today’s EWA University webinar on covering student financial aid, which will take place at 2 p.m. EDT.  We’re featuring three veteran higher ed reporters: Jon Marcus of The Hechinger Report; Beckie Supiano from the Chronicle of Higher Education; and Ry Rivard of Inside Higher Ed. 

There will also be a Q&A session, making it a terrific opportunity to get the answers you need. Ready to register? The link is here.

If you missed Part One of EWA University earlier this week — looking at the research on how college financial aid policies are influencing admissions decisions and student outcomes  – you can watch the replay.

In the meantime, take a look at EWA’s Topics pages on higher education, including college finance and affordability