|By Mark Y. on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 09:18 pm: Edit|
Boy oh boy....just when you think it can't get worse...tuition is increasing again...this time midyear! So students are now going to get hit twice; a big increase at the beginning of the year, and now another big increase in the middle! And you know that there will be another big increase for Fall '02.
An article dealing with this is at http://fyi.cnn.com/2002/fyi/teachers.ednews/01/08/tuition.hikes.ap/index.html
It's a bit of irony, because when you go to that article from the main CNN.com page, you click on the "Education" section, and you will see a link to that article surrounded by articles on Bush's highly-touted education reform acts aka "No Child Left Behind". It's amazing...so many politicians still think that education ends after 12th grade. They think that higher education should just be left alone, and what happens is that tuition spirals out of control, and the kids get the mid-high five figure debts for their baccalaureates. Thanks to the apathy toward higher ed and the concentration on K-12, we are going to have a society of well educated kids who are amassing mortgages before they even think about owning a house.
|By burningman on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 08:03 pm: Edit|
Maybe they figure two healthy increases a year will seem more palatable than one gigantic increase. It is kind of disconcerting, though. College financial planning is usually done on a whole-year basis.
How about some GOOD news, Mark?
|By Mark Y on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 11:02 pm: Edit|
Well...I guess the good news is that the banking industry, which handles student loans, still claims that college is still within reach thanks to that great financial aid of debt. Pretty reassuring, eh?
By the way, the Lumina Foundation just published its survey of affordable/unaffordable schools for low and middle income people. Needless to say, the vast majority are described as unaffordable. If you want to read it, the link is here...http://www.luminafoundation.org/monographs/index.shtml
|By burningman on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 10:54 am: Edit|
I checked out the Lumina link, and, as you say, it looks like most colleges fall into the "unaffordable" category. Even Princeton, which arguably has one of the best financial aid programs (meeting 100% of need with no loans) is listed as unaffordable for all income categories.
Heard a blurb on NPR this morning - a study by the GAO reported that the average debt of new grads is $19,000. The report also noted that jobs are scarce.
|By Mark Y on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 05:58 pm: Edit|
Regarding Princeton, I commend it for what it did last year in terms of removing debts from the finaid packages, but if you think for one second that Princeton grads will be free from the burdens of loans, you're unfortunately mistaken. First of all, this only includes students on aid...students not on aid would still need to borrow. Also, even for students on aid, this may only partially relieve the burden, since many rely on private loans for their college. A student who would borrow $80,000 for their bachelor's before this would still have to borrow $65,000, which is still crushing. The best financial aid is lower tuition, and I think that this year, Princeton and the other elite schools will raise tuitions tremendously since their endowments went from $18 billion to $15 billion.
Regarding the GAO, I actually think that the 19,000 figure is pretty low, burningman...I don't think that includes private loans and parental loans that the children will pay back (the median for federal loans is about $15,300 for public schools and $17,300 for privates according to the American Council of Ed at www.acenet.edu ...I would not be surprised if the real figure is in the mid-20s (I am NOT including credit cards because that I think the student can control).
|By Dave Berry on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 09:01 am: Edit|
Here's an interesting counterpoint from today's ABC News site. I'm pasting the entire article because a URL would probably expire within a day or so. It's an AP wire story.
I'm left with two main thoughts: (1) If Bethany can cut tuition this drastically and still survive, what does that say about their (and the others') prior rate? and (2) when will the Ivies follow suit?
Private Colleges Cutting Tuition
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
BETHANY, W.Va. — One peek at Bethany College and 18-year-old Amanda Sullivan was sold — its setting in the West Virginia hills and small size made it her favorite as she looked at schools.
"I thought it was so gorgeous," said Sullivan, who attended a wedding on the campus and later toured it with her mother. "I liked the idea of a smaller campus. I have a friend who goes here, she's a freshman, and she said her largest class was 16 people."
But Bethany was a tough sell to Sullivan's parents in Hopedale, Ohio — until the private college announced last October it was slashing tuition from $20,650 to $12,000 for the 2002 freshman class. (Tuition will remain at the old level for other students, but they'll get more financial aid relative to freshmen.)
This week, Sullivan is planning to join the growing number of applicants to Bethany, one of a handful of modest-sized colleges that have lowered their prices to boost enrollment.
At Bethany, the results have been dramatic. Applications have soared from 501 for a spot in 2001's freshmen class to 658 for the incoming freshmen class this fall.
"When I read about them cutting the tuition, I was so excited," said Anna Sullivan, Amanda's mother. "I thought maybe now we can swing it."
At least 10 private colleges have cut tuition since 1996, when Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, dropped it by 29 percent, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Washington.
Their goal: keep private colleges in business by keeping them affordable.
"This region has been touched by the decline of the steel and coal industry and private education has moved beyond the reach of many families," said Bethany President D. Duane Cummins. "We identified the problem of being priced beyond the reach of our market."
His college, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), hopes to make up for the radical price cut by also reducing the overall financial aid it provides in the form of scholarships, merit awards and grants, and by adding about 100 students to its current enrollment of 774.
School officials figure they can accommodate up to 900 students without adding faculty or buildings, while still maintaining a family-like atmosphere. Students often visit faculty in their homes near the 161-year-old college, nestled in scenic foothills of the Allegheny Mountains 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Cummins said the quality of applicants has risen with the number of them. The average GPA this year is 3.45, compared with 3.3 a year ago, he said.
Slashing tuition also helped draw more applicants to Muskingum and Wells College in Aurora, N.Y.
Wells, a 450-student institution for women, took the plunge in 1999, cutting tuition and fees from $17,540 to $12,300. Enrollment rose 25 percent.
"We are very pleased with the results," said Susan Sloan, Wells' director of admissions. "We have not seen any downside."
Tony Pals, a spokesman for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which represents nearly 1,000 private campuses, said that schools facing consumer resistance to climbing prices are taking a variety of steps. Some reduced tuition. Others offer more financial aid.
"It really depends on the institution's student population and the types of families they are recruiting," Pals said. "Some families respond to the low-tuition model. Other families, including those of lower income and minorities, and those who have not sent a child to college before, want institutional aid because they often feel like they may not have enough income to afford tuition."
Cost-cutting is not always a success.
At private Bluefield College in Virginia, enrollment has stayed around 850 despite reducing tuition, said college spokesman Chris Shoemaker.
Like Bethany, the campus is in coal country, where the sluggish economy has forced an exodus of families seeking work. "We're battling tough demographics," Shoemaker said.
Private colleges will always struggle to balance the price of tuition and the market's willingness to pay it, said Roland King at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"Maintaining that balance is what keeps admissions directors up at night so that their colleges remain solvent," he said.
|By Dadster on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 08:13 am: Edit|
NPR finally covered the midyear tuition increase issue today. No great new insights, but some interviews with surprised students were featured. I would guess those at low-cost public colleges might be the most affected. Many of these students might be funding a major part of the cost through part-time or summer work, and even a modest increase in the overall tuition rate could have a pretty big impact on an already strapped student.
|By Mark Y on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 09:54 am: Edit|
Yeah, I don't think private schools raise tuition midyear...it's almost always the public colleges that do it, since midyear budget cuts may force them to do so. Privates generally have their budget confirmed before the beginning of the college year. And yes, these students do get affected. I have heard of public college grads getting into $40,000 in debt or more...sounds strange, but true!
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