off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

States Have Hiked College Tuition to Compensate For Cuts

States have slashed funding to public colleges and universities over the past five years, as I explained earlier this week and we detail in our new paper.  After adjusting for inflation, every state except North Dakota and Wyoming is spending less per student on higher education — 28 percent less, on average — than they did before the recession. Consequently, as the chart below shows, the schools have increased tuition to help make up for lost state revenue.  As a result, the average cost of attending a public college or university has surged. Average annual published tuition at four-year public colleges — the “sticker price” — has grown by $1,850, or 27 percent, in real terms between the 2007-08 school year, the academic year that began just prior to the recession, and the current 2012-13 school year. Tuition increases have been both substantial and widespread.  Since the 2007-08 school year, after adjusting for inflation, the average tuition at public four-year colleges has increased by:
  • More than 50 percent in seven states;
  • More than 25 percent in 18 states; and
  • More than 15 percent in 40 states.
Two states, Arizona and California, have increased tuition by more than 70 percent.
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Click here to read the full paper.