Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)

Just the Facts: How much does college really cost

Posted by Maisha Meminger - On May 06, 2011 (EST)

Students and parents see college attendance as a principal avenue to middle-class life, and, given the rising price of postsecondary education, they are apprehensive about their ability to af-ford it.1 In a recent survey of college freshmen, about two-thirds (66 percent) reported having concerns about being able to finance their education. Many U.S. policymakers and researchers share their concern, and are exploring ways to make college more affordable. Legislators have required colleges and universities to pro-vide more extensive information about tuition and prices, and in the Higher Edu-cation Opportunity Act of 2008 mandated a host of price-related measures, including institutional net price calculators on col-lege websites, the reporting of net price data to the U.S. Department of Education, and the creation and posting of “College Affordability and Transparency Lists” by the Department. This Statistics in Brief illustrates the kinds of questions that national data can answer about the amounts U.S. undergra-duates pay annually, on average, for postsecondary education, with and without financial aid. This brief draws upon the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), a nationally representative survey of all postsecon-dary students enrolled in Title IV institutions.

User Comments (1)
On May 09, 2011  Mike Shiffer said:
Affordability for college is compounded by the post secondary training institutions that seem to drive students to loan programs. Often these programs offer very little in the way of tuition assistance or scholarships. Further the quality of the credentials people achieve can be suspect. Post secondary education, more than high school, should lead to skill development in a high wage, high demand occupation. Furthermore loan programs should require that LMI data demonstrate there is a demand for the skill set funded through the loan. $70,000 in student loans to become a skilled buggy whip builder is not the kind of investment that the guaranteed student loan programs should support. Until we hold training institutions and loan guarantee organizations to a higher standard we will continue to see more students with unreasonably high student loan debt and no marketable skills that can have a chance of paying those loans back. The bursting of the student loan bubble will be worse than the housing bubble with even less equity in student skills to offset the losses.

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Modified On : May 06, 2011
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