DENVER (CBS4) – There’s good news for students and their families as for the second academic year in a row the rate of tuition increases at U.S. colleges and universities has fallen – but the news isn’t all rosy.

Every year it seems we hear about the cost of going to college or to a university rising, but the good news is the rise in costs of higher education is slowing. So it’s increasing at a decreasing rate.

There are two different costs associated with higher education — the sticker cost and the net cost. The sticker cost is everything added together without any scholarships, grants or aid. Then there is the net cost which subtracts grants and financial aid.

The cost of going to a public college is almost $8,900 a year, which is almost 3 percent more than last year. That rise is the smallest annual rise in almost 40 years. As for going to a private college, it’s $30,094, which is almost a 4 percent rise.

As for the debt of college graduates/parents — as of 2012, 57 percent of graduates from public four-year colleges had debt averaging $25,000. At private nonprofit colleges, 65 percent had debt of nearly $30,000. Student debt has now topped a trillion dollars and as costs have increased, so has student loan debt.

Another thing that is concerning is one in 10 students now defaults within two years of starting repayment, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Many studies show college graduates earn more over their lifetimes than those who don’t attend institutions of higher education. However, there is little correlation between paying more for education and making more money.


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