MILITARY.COM: College Prices Increase More Slowly While Student Borrowing Declines

Career College Central Summary:

  • While published tuition and fees at colleges and universities continue to rise more rapidly than the rate of inflation, the rate of increase has slowed. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the percentage increases in published tuition and fees (in all sectors) were smaller than the average annual increases over the previous five, 10, and 30 years, according to the College Board’s 2014 Trends in Higher Education reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released today. Total education borrowing fell by 8% between 2012-13 and 2013-14, and by 13% over three years. Borrowing per student declined by 6% in one year and by 9% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.
  • College pricing and financial aid look very different in 2013 and 2014 than they did in 2010. As the economy has begun to recover from the recent recession, published price increases have slowed, making it clear that prices are not on an accelerating path. However, price increases continue to accumulate, totaling 17% between 2007-08 and 2014-15 at private nonprofit four-year colleges, and almost 30% at public two-year and four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation.
  • The federal government implemented large increases in Pell Grants, education aid to veterans, and education tax credits that led to significant declines in the average "net prices” — what students actually pay after accounting for grant aid and tax breaks — in all sectors between 2007-08 and 2010-11. While grant aid has been sufficient to maintain those net prices in the private nonprofit four-year and public two-year sectors, net prices at public four-year institutions have risen. The average net price in the public four-year sector reached an estimated $3,030 in 2014-15, compared to a published price of $9,139, and to net prices of $2,680 in 2007-08 and $2,140 in 2010-11.

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