• Ally Rau

Rising Cost of College


Over the past decade, college tuition has continued to rise. It’s getting more difficult for students to afford the cost of tuition. During the 2009-10 school year, public in-state college with room plus board and fees had an average cost of $17,830 according to CNBC. By the 2018-19 school year, public in-state college with room and board plus fees had an average cost of $21,400. According to College Board every year tuition rises about 3%. “It would be great to get to a point and for the purpose of students trying to save and plan for college, it would be phenomenal if we could get to a point where the increase in tuition is regulated,” Mackenzie Swanson, an academic and career plan coordinator, said. Colleges are not receiving as much state funding as they were previously. In 2018, colleges received $6.6 billion less in funding than in 2008, stated in the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Universities started to accept more out-of-state students because they pay more in tuition according to The Atlantic. In the past decade, Purdue University only accepted 4,300 in-state students and 5,300 out of state students. When colleges lost state funding, it led to cutting courses, less student service programs, and cutting staff. Colleges were looking for ways to have the same amount of money, and it their solution was raising the price of tuition.

In the past decade, college has changed drastically. Many more students are going to college than ever before. In 2017, it was reported by the Business Insider that 20.4 million students attend college. College was still difficult to get into a decade ago, the difference now is that acceptance rates are really low.

While tuition is the most expensive part of college, there are many other costs when going to college. “You don’t realize all the extra fees, when first looking, you see tution, but then you have room and board and meal plans, it all adds up,” Swanson stated. Most students live on campus which can cost around $9,000 a year according to College Choice. Many schools offer meal plans or you purchase groceries. Then you have personal expenses or activity fees. Then like regular school you need to purchase supplies. You have to pay for textbooks which can cost over $1,000. Many students need to have a laptop to do school work or homework. When looking at colleges, you see the cost of tuition, but you also have the extra costs that make college much more expensive.

Many students apply for financial aid to help pay for college. The most popular types of financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. To apply for financial aid, students fill out an application about how they are going to pay for college, which helps colleges figure out how much money to give each student. Financial aid helps cover some costs for college but it doesn’t cover everything. “One of the issues with financial aid is that it is difficult,” Swanson said. “The process of filling out the application or FAFSA is a long process.” As the cost of tuition goes up, financial aid is not following according to Inside Higher Ed. Tuition prices keep rising while financial aid is not matching up. Students will end college with an average of $30,000 in debt according to CNBC.

With college being so expensive, it’s interesting how many still decide to go. With a college degree, you have the option to make more than someone without one and you have the opportunity to get a better job and go farther in a company. College is not for everyone and is something that takes a lot of time to think about. Hopefully in this next decade we are able to make college more affordable for everyone.


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