The overall average tuition and required fees for a full-time student at public or state schools.
The overall average tuition and required fees for a full-time student at public or state schools.  

Related "Issue of the Day" Entries

Enrollment Surge Creates Pressures on Community Colleges
Published Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Contrary to a system that is based on open admission to higher education all, community colleges now have to contemplate turning away students. The reasons for such a reversal of principle are fueled by the current recession, an enrollment surge greater than the past 2 decades, and tight state budgets. Normally, an economic downturn would boost community college enrollment.  Yet, the current recession poses a three sided crush of students who are out of work and looking for a career boost, limited to lower tuition choices by a tighter credit market, and threat of home foreclosure requiring extra income. The tuition for a four year university and a two year community college is drastically different in that private 4-year is $25,143 and public 4-year is $6,585.  Community college is less than $2000 on average.

The Obama Administration has planned to add $12 billion to the community college budget over the next decade, yet there is no immediate relief in sight. The most up-to-date information on college enrollment suggests that the growing enrollment is coming from the Hispanic college age population, which increased nearly 4 percentage points to 57.9% between 2005 and 2006. The enrollment by the white population decreased by 4.7 percentage points to 68.5%, and blacks had a -0.2 point change during the same time period to 55.5%.

Posted in Economics, Education, Jobs, Minorities | No Comments »

Relief for Student Loan Suffers
Published Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Some relief has finally come to those struggling to pay off those student loans. New rules allow for borrowers to apply the plan to their remaining loan amount as of Wednesday, July 1st. Highlights include an income-based repayment plan that considers income and family size; also borrowers can set their monthly loan payment at 15% of their annual adjusted gross income. Plus, borrowers who make less than $16,245 — poverty level — would not be required to make any payments on their federal loans as long as their income remained at that level. Public Service also offers some relief as well in the form of loan forgiveness after 10 years of service. The Government increased the Pell Grants payouts from $619 to $5,350 — thanks to the Stimulus Act — for the 2009-2010 school year, decreased loan origination fees to 1% next July and cut interest rates from 6% to 5.6%.

The action is a result of several factors not the least of which includes skyrocketing tuition, which has reached $20,000 for a Private school and near $5,000 for public school in 2007. For 45% of Public college students and upwards to 60-75% of Private college students, the rise in tuition has resulted in loans to cover the cost of an education.  This has lead to an annual Federal Assistance borrowing of $92,484 million and places the US second in Higher Education spending among developed countries.

Posted in Education | No Comments »

Economy Influencing College Choices
Published Friday, April 3rd, 2009

For both applicants and schools spring presents a stressful time at the mail box. Acceptance and rejection letters are creating drama at home and at university as the economy influences applicants’ decision making. 39% have decided to include the amount of tuition when weighing private school acceptance letters. 53% of students who planned to attend a private college now report limiting their choices to public schools. Living arrangements have changed as well; many who would have lived on campus now choose to live with parents. And 27% are choosing the less expensive 2 year institutions instead of going straight to 4 year schools. Yet, 21% plan to defer college to work for a year in order to save for college tuition.

At the heart of the issue is the growth of tuition for both the private and public institutions. The rate at which these public and private schools have increased their tuition, faster than inflation, has raised concerns that many are being priced out of higher education. While there have been only subtle changes over the last 27 years in the different percentages of those attaining higher education degrees, the real change has come from the increase in federal student borrowing, which has increased $48,477 million since 2000 to $92,484 million in 2007.

Posted in Education | No Comments »

The Final Stimulus Package
Published Friday, February 20th, 2009

This week in Denver, the President signed the $787 billion stimulus package that streaked its way through Congress. The final bill is split into 36% for tax cuts and 64% percent in spending and money for social programs. Overall, it is $38 billion different from the original plan President Obama had introduced earlier in January. Highlights include:

• $787 billion total, $38 billion subtracted from original
• $308 billion in total spending, $142 billion subtracted (Federal Budget)
• $190 billion in Federal Aid for Education, Public Safety, Low-income, Individual and Health Care (Number of U.S. citizens below the poverty level)
• $288 billion in tax relief ($800—down from $1000—tax cuts for families, $400 tax cuts for individuals through social security payroll deductions, Business, Manufacturing, Economy, Infrastructure, Energy and other tax cuts), $13 billion added (Tax as a percentage of GDP)
• $48 billion for infrastructure, $42 billion subtracted (Spending on infrastructure)
• $90 billion Medicaid aid to states, $3 billion added (Public and private expenditures for health care)
• $53.6 billion to aid state in education, $25.4 billion subtracted
(Spending for the Department of Education)
• $44.6 billion for additional school funding to balance education budgets, prevent cutbacks and modernize schools, $3.6 billion added (Average finances by school district size and Higher education spending)
• $45 billion to encourage renewable energy production, $9 billion subtracted
(Non-Renewable v. Renewable)
• $18.6 billion for health care technology incentives and research for effective treatments, $5.4 billion subtracted (Cost per patient per day and per stay)
• $16 billion for Science/technology, equal (Research funds for science and technology)
• $15.6 billion to increase Pell Grants by $500, $0.6 billion added
(Rising tuition)

Of course, this is just the combined highlights; the Stimulus and Recovery Act is well over 1,000 pages long.  The administration, in an effort to become more tranparent, has set up a site in which anyone can track how and where the money is being spent:

Posted in Budget, Economics, Education, Energy, Healthcare, Poverty, Research, Taxes, Transportation | No Comments »

The Stimulus Package, Before the Politicking
Published Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Last night, the US House of Representatives passed its version of President Obama’s Stimulus package.  The original package-as of January 15th-before the House debated and changed the bill, contained the following provisions:

• $825 billion total
• $550 billion in new spending. (Federal Budget)
• $275 billion in tax relief ($1,000 tax cut for families, $500 tax cut for individuals through SS payroll deductions). (Tax as a percentage of GDP)
• $ 90 billion for infrastructure (Spending on infrastructure)
• $ 87 billion Medicaid aid to states. (Numbers of enrollees)
• $ 79 billion school districts/public colleges to prevent cutbacks. (Average finances by school district size)
$ 41 billion for additional school funding ($14 billion for school modernizations and repairs, $13 billion for Title I, $13 billion for IDEA special education funding, $1 billion for education technology) (Spending for the Department of Education)
$ 54 billion to encourage energy production from renewable sources (Non-Renewable v. Renewable)
• $ 24 billion for “health information technology to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies” and “to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective health care treatments.” (Cost
per patient per day and per stay)
• $ 16 billion for science/technology ($10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation; $6 billion to expand broadband to rural areas). (Research funds for science and technology)
• $ 15 billion to increase Pell grants by $500 (Rising tuition)
• $ 6 billion for “higher education modernization.” (Higher education Spending)

Posted in Budget, Education, Energy, Healthcare, Research, Taxes, Transportation | No Comments »

The Cost of Education
Published Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

The common reaction to the downturn is for people to go back to school to get degrees or training to better themselves and their working conditions.  Yet, in the news, small community colleges and large universities are experiencing a recession of their own, as hiring freezes, budget cuts, tuition hikes in the double digits are becoming necessary to survive.  As a consequence, universities are having to reduce course offerings, jam students into overcrowded auditoriums, offer online courses for overflows, phase out majors, and even cap the head count.

Federal data states that the percentage of college degrees attained by minorities and the majority alike has risen steadily for the last decade but as of 2003, has declined for males of all races.  Borrowing also has risen for all types of loans and grants given that the rise in tuition has more than tripled between 1988 to the present for public and state schools.  Baring Switzerland, the U.S. spends the most of any country on higher education, which amounts to roughly a quarter of the state institutions’ budget.

Posted in Education | No Comments »

The Cost of College Tuition
Published Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

With many American universities cutting budgets, enforcing hiring freezes, the rise in state and private universities has been threatening for some time. As the USAtoday has reported, the financial aid from the government has increased and private loans have decreased only because of more aid being made available from the federal government in recent years. Barak Obama and John McCain both have similar views on the matter of tuition and financial aid which amounts to clearer tax breaks for parents and financial aid programs.

For the current academic year, the average list price of tuition and fees at four-year public universities rose $394, or 6.4%, to $6,585 for in-state students. At private colleges, prices rose $1,399, or 5.9%, to $25,143. With room and board, the private tuition could raise to $50,000 a year and public tuition $9,000. Public two-year colleges are the best bargain at average list prices there rose $108, or 4.7%, to $2,402. The overall average of tuition has been rising steadily from 1974-2001, from 2001 to the present tuition has increased twice as rapidly.

Posted in Education | No Comments »

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