The numbers in the Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid report demonstrate that an affordable, quality higher education is attainable -- especially at AASCU institutions.
The recession has been hard on higher education, especially on
public colleges and universities. And yet, almost half of the nation’s
full-time students were enrolled at four-year public schools that raised
tuition and fees less than $400. About 33 percent of full-time public
four-year college students attend institutions with published prices of
less than $6,000 per year, and nearly 75 percent attend institutions
with tuition and fees under $9,000 per year.
Trends in Student Pricing finds a 5.7 percent decrease
in per-student appropriations for higher education in 2008-09. That
translates to an average cut of $482, but public institutions raised
their tuition and fees by an average of only $429. Meanwhile, private
colleges and universities' endowment assets per full-time equivalent
student ranged from $1,744 to $455,057 but raised their tuition and fees
by an average $1,096.
Public institutions also educate the neediest students, who are
facing steep cuts in financial support, such as federal campus-based
aid programs. The College Board’s Trends in Student Aid shows
that Federal College Work-Study funds decreased by 5 percent from
1998-99 to 2008-09, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
Grants (FSEOG) decreased by 8 percent.
As our country faces increasing challenges in the global
marketplace, it is imperative that we invest in preparing all our
students to compete. AASCU members are deeply committed to providing
students access to higher education. That mission is reflected in the
historically lower tuition and fee increases they impose compared to all
other public four-year colleges and universities.
Public funds spent on higher education—even in a recession—are
investments in both state economies and national priorities. In order to
facilitate greater access to public postsecondary education and the
achievement of American educational goals laid out by the Obama
Administration, AASCU will continue advocating for the elevation of
public support for higher education as a public policy priority.
The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid
reports provide the higher education community and consumers with
valuable and timely information on the subject of college costs, access
and affordability of postsecondary education in the United States.