When it comes to college tuition, few students pay the “sticker” price.
Students from low-income families are seeing college costs rise at a greater rate than their wealthy counterparts at several West Michigan schools, a trend that could hurt the poor as the cost of obtaining a degree continues to rise.
At about half of Florida’s public universities, the cost for the state’s poorest students to attend school as freshmen has increased more than the cost for the state’s richest students.
The compilation of federal student data — both “sticker price” and what students actually pay out of pocket after factoring in grants and scholarships — shows Florida schools generally following a nationwide trend of cost shifting triggered by cuts in federal grant programs and shrinking state budgets.
At Seattle Pacific University officials acknowledge that net costs have gone up faster for low-income families — from about $13,000 in 2008-09 to $20,400 in 2011-12 for the lowest-income families. Students whose families earned more than $110,000 saw their tuition jump far less, by about $1,000, during the same time period. Those students paid about $30,500 in 2011-12.
Partway through, one of the project’s leaders called college pricing “insanely complicated.” It was a throwaway line — he had detoured into talking about how some colleges have cut their sticker prices and are offering less aid — but it was probably the most accurate thing I’ve heard recently about higher education costs.
How much does college cost? Somewhere between “a heck of a lot” and “not as much as you might think.”
Sure, college is expensive, but a new online tool unveiled last week, Tuition Tracker, is trying to take some of the mystery out of college pricing.
The price of a college education has skyrocketed over the past decade—but not for wealthy Americans. Recent federal data shows it’s actually the families who can least afford a college education who have seen their costs double or triple over the past five years, as they bear the brunt of outrageous tuition hikes and funding cuts.
Only a few hundred dollars separate the costs of the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University, but the price paid by their poorest students sets the two schools worlds apart.
Oregon: Data Shows Low-Income Students Bear Bulk of Tuition Increases, University of Oregon Among Most Affordable
According to an article in Dallas News, the data shows a widening gap between country’s rich and poor, making it increasingly difficult for low-income students to go to college. The University of Oregon offers one of the most affordable net price tuition rates (cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid) in the state for low-income students.
Universities with 10 Largest Endowments Raise Tuition for Low-Income Students More Than for High-Income Students
While they’re not lowering tuition for upper-income students (except for Columbia University!), the tuition increases for wealthier students have been lower, on average, than for the poor students.
Does it cost more to attend a taxpayer-subsidized state university or a private liberal arts college?
It depends on the school, but it’s not the easiest information to come by, since some private liberal arts colleges offer many families a hefty discount, based on their income, bringing down the average cost.
The net price is often welcome news, since most families get some form of discount. However, this analysis shows that, from 2008-09 to 2011-12, students from lower-income families at many colleges are actually paying more while prices have come down for upper-income students. Over that time period, the net price for college increased for all students by an average of $1,100 at public institutions and $1,500 at private ones between 2008-09 and 2011-12, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.
The published cost to attend a Texas public university exceeds $20,000 a year for in-state students. Aid programs exist to help students from less-affluent backgrounds trim thousands from the cost, but it takes savvy to ferret them out.
A good tool is Tuitiontracker.org, which helps get parents and students the information they need to make decisions they can afford.
Higher education shouldn’t be just for the privileged. It must be affordable and available to those who would benefit the most.
At private universities, between the 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 academic years, students in the lowest income group saw their costs go up by around $1,700, while higher-income students saw costs rise by $850 to $1,200 dollars.
Jon Marcus of the The Hechinger Report joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss his reporting.
What Do Oregon Students from Low-Income Families Really Pay for College? Surprising Statistics Give Clues
Oregon students of modest means looking to hold down their college costs would do well to consider the University of Oregon, Portland State University, Portland Community College and Lewis & Clark College, according to college cost statistics compiled by leading education journalists.
At 10 public community colleges and universities in Ohio, the net cost to low-income students increased by an average of $3,490; meanwhile, the increase for the high-income students — those in an income category of $110,000 or more — had an average increase of $1,891.
Students from low-income families in Nebraska have seen the net price of college rise faster than their higher-income classmates’, an analysis of federal data shows.
The rise came despite initiatives in the state college and university systems to make tuition free for low-income students in Nebraska, one of 21 states where the biggest percentage increase in net costs at public universities was borne by the poorest families.
But while attending most public colleges in Nebraska became more expensive for low-income students, it was a different story in Iowa.
The surprising trend is playing out at many Bay Area schools, especially private universities, but the University of California is a notable exception.
At Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, the total bill for low-income freshmen — including housing, meals and books — rose 60 percent in three years to $26,100, on average, even after subtracting scholarships and grants. For wealthier students, that net cost grew by 6 percent.
Despite a vocal push from national and state leaders to cut college costs, the sticker shock for a higher education has increased for the nation’s poorest students a lot faster than for their wealthier peers, according to an analysis of federal data.
San Antonio is no exception.
Texas public universities remain more affordable compared with most states, though out-of-pocket costs for many families continue to rise.That’s based on a Dallas Morning News analysis of cost data that colleges report to the federal government.
The published cost to attend a Texas public university averages more than $20,000 a year for in-state students. Thanks to financial aid, most students pay less than that.
America’s colleges and universities are quietly shifting the burden of their big tuition increases onto low-income students, while many higher-income families are seeing their college costs rise more slowly, or even fall, an analysis of federal data shows.
It’s a trend financial-aid experts and some university administrators worry will further widen the gap between the nation’s rich and poor as college degrees—especially four-year ones—drift beyond the economic reach of growing numbers of students.
It’s not just colleges and universities that are shifting their financial aid from lower-income to higher-income students.
Tuition tax credits and other tax breaks to offset the cost of higher education — nearly invisible federal government subsidies for families that send their kids to college — also disproportionately benefit more affluent Americans. So do tax-deductible savings plans and the federal work-study program, which gives taxpayer dollars to students who take campus jobs to help pay for their expenses.
The sticker price at Pennsylvania State University runs about $30,000 a year for in-state students. At Swarthmore College, it’s nearly twice that.
Yet Swarthmore ends up being cheaper for most students. That’s because this private liberal-arts college near Philadelphia offers many families a hefty discount, bringing down the average cost to even less than taxpayer-subsidized Penn State’s.