College costs rising, but by how much?
We’re all aware the cost of a college education has skyrocketed in recent years. So a preliminary report just released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on college tuition and enrollment data might be somewhat anticlimactic. Yet the report, Postsecondary Education and the Price of Attendance 2011-12, Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2010-11, and 12-Month Enrollment: 2010-11, does provide data on precisely how steep the tuition escalation has been. It concludes, perhaps to the surprise of no one, that the economic downturn has had the greatest impact on public colleges.
According to the report, 40 states cut higher education funding since 2009, resulting in tuition increases averaging 9 percent for in-state residents at four-year public colleges and 6 percent for out-of-state residents. Tuition at non-profit private colleges increased 4 percent during that time while tuition at for-profit schools did not change.
Tuition increases were similar at public two-year colleges.
The report also provides a demographic breakdown of the class of 2011. Among the findings, 58 percent of all degree recipients were female; 60 percent were white;10 percent were African-American; and 8 percent were Hispanic or Latino.