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College Tuition Increase Stats and Facts You Need to Know

by Branka Vuleta

Whether you’re a college graduate still stuck in debt and paying for school years after graduation or a parent who has helped their kids to pay for college, you will most probably be aware of the college tuition increase that is becoming an epidemic.

At the moment, there seems to be a sort of numb acceptance among the majority of Americans, one that views rising college costs as something inevitable and somewhat normal. This indifference may seem like one that is almost justified because the majority of people may feel like their positive or negative input on the topic is not important. However, such an attitude is one of the biggest contributing factors to problems with college tuition costs

It is essential to understand that the educational system exists for the betterment of people. Such realization could cause the much needed change in the current trend of college tuition increase. According to college tuition increase statistics, the prices go up every year, yet we accept it without question. That has to change.

So how much does college cost in the US? Read on to find out.

Top Facts About College Costs (Editor’s Pick)

  • College tuition has doubled in the last two decades.
  • Admission fees can be as high as $60,000.
  • In several states across the US, both students and their families have started paying more in tuition and fees ($6,920) than the state provides in funding ($6,429 per student).
  • College costs have overtaken the inflation rate and will accelerate throughout 2020 and beyond.

Discouraging College Tuition Increase Stats

1. Tuition prices amongst national universities have seen a surge of well over 50% in the last few years. 

Surveys report that tuition prices are growing at an exponential rate, resulting in a steep college tuition rise. This growth is spreading like wildfire, a fire that is not only threatening to burn wallets across the country but also weaken the country financially by increasing the number of people in debt.

2. Nearly 43% of students were forced to reject their first-choice college due to price.

High tuition costs are resulting in an increasing number of students basing their college choice on affordability as opposed to academic preference. Surveys have shown that a massive 43% of students were forced to reject their first-choice college due to price.

3. School year tuition for 2019 was approximately $42,437 for private colleges, $12,675 for public colleges, and $29,929 for out-of-state students at state schools, resulting in a rise in college tuition.

Tuition fees vary from college to college, and this fact is nothing new. However, what has been a growing concern through 2019 for most is that these costs have been significantly higher than normal. With private colleges already having inflated costs and the cost of public colleges increasing rapidly, students and parents have certainly been feeling the financial pinch.

With prices being on such an accelerated scale, the cost of college over time has become a pricey endeavour.

4. Admission fees can be as high as $60,000.

Some of the top colleges in the US demand high admission fees. Amongst these elite colleges are Columbia and the University of Chicago. Entry into either of these colleges can cost anywhere around $60,000. These figures tell us that tuition rise is sweeping the nation every year.

5. Just under 25% of colleges are tuition-free. However, these colleges require service in exchange for the education.

College doesn’t always cost money. The US naval and military academies offer tuition-free college education to all their students. In addition, they also offer their students room and board for free. However, in exchange for free education and accommodation, all students are required to serve in the military or navy upon graduation.

College tuition increase statistics show that other non-military institutions are starting to consider implementing similar tuition-free education initiatives. In most establishments, tuition increases over time, but in these select universities, it is the commitment to the institution that increases incrementally.

6. Since the 1980s, college tuition rates have doubled.

Right now, millions of Americans have student loan debt. Although the figures are not conclusive, it is estimated that at the very least 40 million US citizens are weighed down in this type of debt. Add to this the whopping national total of $1.5 trillion of debt across the country, and you have a recipe for college costs increase.

7. According to statistics, financial aid is within the $200 billion dollar range.

For undergraduates, financial aid is the new addiction. Studies show that students have been happily jumping into “buy now pay later” schemes that loan companies and colleges are offering. These students are often misinformed or have done little to no research on what debt involves on a long term basis. This impulsive nature from potential graduates has led to the bump in how much has college tuition increased in the last five years.

8. Over the last four years, many US states have seen a jump in college costs that have reached a level of over 60%.

Washington, Georgia, and Arizona are states that have experienced significant increases in college costs. On average, they have seen a 75% rise in costs, a figure which is as hard to believe as it is for colleges to sustain. This translates to colleges considering outsourcing to survive, and students not being able to study due to high costs.

The history of college tuition costs seems to reflect a heyday, one in which college costs were low enough to be accessible to more students from more diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

9. In 2019, college costs overtook the inflation rate.

In less than a decade, costs have almost tripled at some colleges. This massive rise in costs has added heavily to the outstanding student loan balance that is plaguing the US, where a huge $1 trillion remains unpaid and appears to remain so for the foreseeable future.

With college tuition rising faster than inflation, the country is no doubt going to feel the unavoidable financial squeeze in the very near future.

10. College and its costs across the US are projected to rise by an average of 4%.

At the moment, tuition in private colleges costs an average of $35,000. Public universities charge in-state students $9,000 and out-of-state students $26,000. What’s more, students can expect to encounter a yearly price increase of 4.7% at private colleges and 3.4% at public colleges.

The average cost of college in 2018 was barely affordable. Still, with the exponential rise in costs in 2019, college seems to have become a less viable choice for prospective students across the country.

11. More than 70% of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid for college.

According to statistics, the majority of students in college now receive financial aid. This figure is alarming because, in the last five years, this amount has doubled.

Studies show that the cost of college over time, adjusted for inflation, is set to rise significantly. This, in turn, means that more students will take loans than ever before and also the higher amounts than the present. This will all contribute to the national debt.

12. In 2019, college costs increased by 5% compared to 2018.

The majority of colleges have increased their prices since 2018. Whether you look at private or public colleges, tuition fees and on-campus accommodation costs are currently higher than ever, and they are set to continue rising.

The fact that costs from 2018 have jumped by 5% in 2019 marks the onset of further cost hikes, a prospect that colleges and students want to avoid. Colleges may welcome price increases in the short term, but long term the increase in college costs would reduce the number of students enrolling.

These figures go to show that the average cost of college in 2019 has indeed increased significantly.

13. College in the 1950s was more of a viable option than it is now, according to stats.

Sending your child to college in the 1950s was a whole lot cheaper than it is nowadays. Back in the 1950s, a parent would have to invest around 19% of their annual income into getting their child through college.

By contrast, in 2019, sending your child to college can set you back 80% of your annual income. The current financial climate in the US does not allow for most families to send their child to college without accruing massive amounts of debt in the process. The current cost of college, compared to how much college cost in 1950, is exuberantly high.

To Sum It All Up

College costs are obviously rising at an alarming rate. According to data and experts, if college tuition increase continues with its present pattern, the number of graduates in debt will exponentially increase.

However, despite the increase in tuition costs, college still proves a valuable investment to those that can afford it. This is because the amount of annual income that employers are offering to college graduates is on average 25% higher than those without a degree.

People Also Ask

How much does college tuition go up each year?

Based on average tuition and fees for 2018-2019 school year, college tuition fees are estimated to continue increasing annually by 5%. This is not taking into account room and board fees and cost of living, which would take the overall costs to an even higher price range. This is a large amount, especially compared to historical data which shows that the average increase over the last ten years has been around 2% per year.

Why is college tuition increasing?

In short, tuition is increasing because colleges are taking on more faculty members and increasing the amount and quality of their facilities on campus.

The reason for more staff is to keep up with varieties in course selection and also provide the manpower to manage larger campus structures. Campus growth is in direct line with competitiveness. Students are demanding more facilities, which leads to increased costs.

How much has college tuition increased since 1960?

The college has always been a pricey endeavor for any parent that is intending to send their child to college, or for any student intending to pay for their own college. Whether we look at current prices or historical ones, the college has been labeled as an investment and not just a casual expense. 

This is due to the fact that, although the college has always had many positive aspects that make it worth spending money on, expenses require a diligent assessment of finances. After all, the cost of college over time is something that has been rising at a very high rate.

Studies show that the cost of college tuition in the 1960s could involve the investment of around 19% of the parents’ income. However, when we look at current college tuition prices, the investment required by a parent can be up to 80% of their annual income.

How much has the cost of college increased since 1980?

College prices have doubled since the 1980s. This scary and ultimately alarming rise in prices is spiking growth in debt and student loans across the country. Students are currently borrowing more, and the national debt is rising as a result. 

As it stands, the average college graduate is set to leave college with debt that a homeowner would normally have, which will start their professional life on a weaker financial footing than most would prefer.

The current rise in costs is 200% compared to the 1980 costs, and experts predict a further increase in 2020, leading to a massive 260% increase from 1980.

Will college tuition ever go down?

College prices could decrease if the government intervenes. At the moment, there is no evidence that tuition prices would decrease in the current educational market. With college still being a popular option among those seeking well paid jobs and colleges hungry for more money, college prices will only grow as time goes on.

How much does four years of college cost on average?

School year tuition for 2019 was approximately $42,437 for private colleges, $12,675 for public colleges, and $29,929 for out-of-state students at state schools, resulting in higher rates for college tuition.

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