How much public college tuition costs have risen by state
With college as expensive as it is now, public colleges have been touted as a good alternative for students looking to limit college costs.
But, like private colleges, tuition at public colleges across the country has risen rapidly over the past ten years.
Some states see tuition increases over 90%
Between 2008 and 2017, the average cost of attending a four-year public college went up in every state, even adjusting for inflation, according to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as reported by MarketWatch.
The state with the largest increase was Arizona, where public tuition jumped 90% over that time period, rising $5,217.
Montana’s public colleges had the smallest increase, with the cost of tuition rising $272, or 4.4%.
States cut budgets for public colleges
The biggest reason for this rise across states is state disinvestment in higher education, according to the report’s authors.
In 2017, state funding for two- and four-year public colleges was $9 billion below its 2008 level when adjusting for inflation, MarketWatch reported.
The recession that hit in the early part of the decade took a toll on state budgets, which led them to cut funding for public colleges.
As a result, colleges have increased tuition to make up the difference, but financial aid hasn’t kept pace with these rises in costs, causing more students to have to take on more debt to pay for college than ever before.
Consider private colleges for more financial aid
Since public college has become less affordable, it’s become crucial to apply to several different colleges and compare financial aid packages before deciding where to attend.
While a public college may still end up being your best option, it’s wise to apply to a mix of private and public colleges to see what your cost of attendance will be once financial aid, grants and loans are taken into account.
Many private colleges offer large scholarships that can make them even cheaper than public colleges for some students.
If you need personalized help evaluating your options and determining what type of college is best for your family, give us a call at 1-888-234-3907 or send us a message.