The general perception about having a college education is that it is rather expensive. Most people can’t afford to have one and not everybody is qualified for a student loan or grant. Promising students get intimidated with the college tuition and costs involved like books, dorms, etc., that they actually dismiss the idea of pursuing a chance to a better future.
Tuition and college fees at most public colleges increase by 6.3 percent or an approximate $344 to an average of $5,836 for an academic year, according to the College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing” report. . With the global recession the family income has not increase that much to give way for funding a college education. Tuition fees for private colleges increased by as much as 5.9 percent, amounting to $22,218.
On the average college education at a major public research university costs $6,000 a year. Even though there are student loans and grants offered in some universities, they require a good credit standing which most students don’t qualify. The net cost of college in the last decade is shown in the table below.
|How the net cost of college has changed|
Figures are inflation-adjusted, 1999 dollars. They include tuition, fees, books, supplies and living expenses minus government and institutional grants received.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics.
What makes college education costs so much? In the effort to be the best among other competitors every college or university invests in all advancement in technology, upgrade in curriculum, facilities and employing highly qualified teachers. These resources are expensive to sustain and it contributes to yearly tuition fee increases. To keep high quality education in colleges and universities they have to employ the best faculty and be able to keep them. According to the American Association of University Professors a full time tenured professors make an average of $76,000.
Parents in return would like to enroll their children in these prominent schools and sees this as a good investment in their future. University administrators and board of trustees chooses to increase their quality by spending more rather than strengthening efficiency, cutting costs and reallocating funds.
Private colleges and universities should take further actions to stabilize their tuition fee increases and costs. Resource allocation method can contribute in an effective way to control costs. Parents and students aspiring for a college education should prepare early as the situation of increased tuition fees are expected to continue as the economy has not shown signs of improvement. Save up for college while children are still young and make the most of financial aids offered or you can try to avail of the prepaid tuition plans wherein payment for future tuition fees can be made at today’s rates.