I remember the days of my undergraduate career. Every year, tuition went up. I had a scholarship, so it didn’t impact me that much, but student fees generally rose along with tuition. And every year that my husband has been in grad school, we’ve watched tuition increases and student fee hikes. But this year, things are different. Yes, tuition is going up. But it’s not going up by quite so much. BloggingStocks reports on the new tuition hikes:
Tuition is up only 4.3% for the coming school year, the lowest rate of growth in 37 years, according to a survey of 350 private schools by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. This is down substantially from the 5.9% increase for the 2008-2009 school year. Of course, this is for tuition only and does not include room and board inflation.
To further help some folks, financial aid is seeing an increase of 9.2%. So that means that, for some, it may actually be manageable to keep up with tuition hikes this year. But, as the BloggingStocks article points out, room and board have likely gone up as well. This might offset some of slowed inflation in tuition and fees.
Money troubles and higher education
It is getting more and more difficult for the schools themselves, as well as the students. This is because new money is down as benefactors reduce their contributions. (After all, the number of billionaires is decreasing, and those who are still billionaires have, well, billions less.) Not only that, but many universities have trusts and other investments that are significantly reduced in value, thanks to a bear stock market. While these investments will eventually rebound, for now it means less money to go around — and in some cases staff cuts and project terminations. The project my husband is working on here at USU got cut. He is fortunate in that a graduate in the department moved on and vacated a spot on a different project. He was successfully shifted, and retained his position. But not everyone is so lucky.
Image source: Widosu via Wikimedia Commons