Weighing Funding Options
Career College Central summary:
A recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that states have begun to restore some of the cuts they made to higher education since the beginning of the recession. Spending is up by about $450 per student, or 7 percent, among states that have increased higher education spending.
The report found that state spending on higher education was 23 percent less in the current fiscal year than it was in 2007. Thirty-seven states have cut education funding by more than 30 percent since the start of the recession.
To make up for declining state investment in higher education, colleges across the country have been raising tuition and fees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of attending a public community college full-time in 2012-13 was $9,180. That’s up from $8,909 from a year before, and 18.3 percent more than the average cost of $7,637 in the pre-recession 2007-08 school year.
“These sharp increases in tuition have accelerated longer-term trends of reducing college affordability and shifting costs from states to students and their families,” the CBPP report said. “Federal student aid and tax credits have risen, but on average they have fallen short of covering the tuition increases. The tuition increases have contributed to a swelling in student debt levels since the start of the recession — up 20 percent for the average bachelor’s degree recipient.”
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