School Choice & Charters

College Tuition Rising But Still ‘Affordable,’ Experts Say

By John Gehring — October 31, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Tuition at public and private colleges is rising, and while a record amount of financial aid is available, more students than ever are relying on loans rather than grants to pay for their educations, the College Board says in a pair of new reports.

“Trends in Student Aid 2001" and “Trends in College Pricing 2001,” from the College Board. (Require Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

“Trends in College Pricing 2001" found students at four-year public institutions currently pay an average of $3,754 a year in tuition alone, a 7 percent increase from the previous year.

At four-year private institutions, students are paying $17,123, or 5.5 percent more than they did the year before. Room and board at four-year public universities rose from $4,931 to $5,254, and from $6,168 to $6,455 at four-year private colleges.

But Gaston Caperton, the president of the New York City-based College Board, said although college tuition has risen, more than 40 percent of students who attend four-year institutions still pay less than $4,000 for tuition and fees. He also touted the value of two-year public institutions, where tuitions average less than $2,000.

“College is affordable today,” Mr. Caperton said at an Oct. 23 press conference here. “There are options for everyone.”

More Aid in Loans

Students received more than $74 billion in student aid in 2000-01, a jump of 7 percent over the preceding year, according to “Trends in Student Aid 2001,” the companion report that the College Board also released last week.

While the figure is almost double the amount of aid available a decade ago, loans now represent 58 percent of all aid, compared with slightly more than 41 percent of aid in 1980.

The report also notes that the purchasing power of Pell Grants, the popular federal financial-aid program for low-income students, has declined.

A 1998 report by the Washington-based Institute for Higher Education Policy found that the maximum Pell Grant covered 35 percent of the cost of a private institution in 176 and 72 percent of the cost of a public institution. The College Board says the average Pell Grant today covers only 40 percent of costs at four-year public colleges and 15 percent at four-year private colleges.

College Board officials also announced plans to form a panel on student aid to examine ways to ensure that a lack of financial aid is not a barrier to college. The panel, which will begin work in November, will be made up of educators, researchers, and university presidents.

The new reports come at a time when higher education leaders are worried about their institutions’ financial health in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity College in Washington, said the attacks and subsequent anthrax scares have raised the costs of providing security counseling services for students. Increased security at Trinity, a private institution in the heart of the District of Columbia, could also take a financial toll, she said.

“Cost of security is already high on urban campuses. At Trinity, it’s already two times as much as my library budget,” said Ms. McGuire.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty
Getty