College Board Trends Reports: Higher Education Costs Increasing, But Not Spiking
By Katy Hopkins, Communications Staff
A variety of factors are pushing college costs upward—though the rates that those prices are climbing have slowed, according to new research.
Today, the College Board released two annual reports, Trends in Student Aid 2013, which includes a reference to NASFAA-College Board institutional loan survey administered to NASFAA members in August 2013, and Trends in College Pricing 2013. Taken together, the reports help to illuminate how much college costs, who’s receiving financial aid, and how much student debt has accumulated over time, among other topics.
Sticker prices (e.g. published tuition and fees) for the 2013-14 school year were, on average, slightly higher in each sector than the year before. At two-year public colleges, average published tuition and fees prices for in-state students rose $110 (from $3,154 to $3,264). For four-year institutions, average sticker prices at private, nonprofits increased $1,105 (from $28,989 to $30,094) and $247, on average, for in-state students at public institutions (from $8,646 to $8,893) -- the smallest average increase public institutions have posted in more than 30 years, according to the College Board.
“This does not mean that college is suddenly more affordable, but it does mean that the rapid growth of recent years did not represent a ‘new normal’ for annual price increases,” according to the College Board.
However, slowly rising sticker prices were not offset by rapidly increasing levels of financial aid, resulting in higher average net prices this year than last, the College Board notes. Average net prices for in-state, four-year public institutions rose $1,180, to $3,120 (though state-specific averages vary widely), and $910, to $12,460, for private nonprofit institutions.
Though increases in student aid have not kept pace with increases in total costs, “total financial aid per full-time student increased 54 percent over the last decade, from $9,700 (in 2012 dollars) in 2002-03 to $14,980 in 2012-13,” the organization notes.
That financial aid continues to come from a variety of sources. Last year, “undergraduate students received 52 percent of their funding in the form of grants, 39 percent as loans …, and 9 percent in a combination of tax credits or deductions and Federal Work-Study,” according to Trends in Student Aid.
The growing national student loan debt is affected, in part, by an increasing number of borrowers, rather than significantly higher loan amounts, according to the College Board. Approximately 6 in 10 bachelor’s degree-earners in 2011-12 had borrowed to help fund their education, with an accumulated average debt of $26,500, the report states. Ten years prior, 52 percent of graduates had borrowed for college and owed an average of $20,900 (in 2012 dollars). (Those figures do not include students who attended for-profit institutions.)
With the help of our members, NASFAA contributed data on total institutional loan volume for the College Board’s analyses. Using data collected from polling NASFAA members, as well as the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), institutional loans grew from an estimated $668 million in 2011-12 to $712.6 million in 2012-13.
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