Based on 2006 data, the most recent data available, students paid about half their education costs at public and research universities, up about 10% since 2002. Students covered even more of their education costs at community colleges, about 30%, up about 24% from 2002. At private colleges students actually paid a higher percent of their education costs, about 55.8%, but their increase in costs was only up .4% since 2002.
What is interesting is that public institutions contributed less to instruction between 2002 and 2006 while student costs went up. The same was true for private institutions, except at private research universities. In addition, at public universities where states’ budgets are used for instruction, tuition increases were up while fewer monies were spent on education. If tuition increase matched state contributions, tuition rates would only increase 2.5 %, but the increase actually went up 29.8%. At private colleges, tuition should have matched contributions by a 1.9% increase, while actual tuition increase was 12.5%.
In this economy it’s wise to consider where student tuition dollars are better spent, don’t you think?
The above was based on Kate Zernike’s article “Students Covering Bigger Share of Costs of College” in the The New York Times on January 16, 2009.