Paying More, Getting Less

Tuition is still going up, and there’s not much parents can do now. This is almost an evergreen (does tuition ever go down?) but tuition is especially challenging this time around because now the increases are big even at state schools. In many cases parents and students don’t have other resources to help them make good decisions about colleges. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Florida college students could face yearly 15 percent tuition increases for years, and University of Illinois students will pay at least 9 percent more. The University of Washington will charge 14 percent more at its flagship campus. And in California, tuition increases of more than 30 percent have sparked protests reminiscent of the 1960s.

Students considering public colleges in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Ohio face moderate tuition increases. Georgia once had a very popular “Fixed for Four” tuition plan, which ensured that students paid the same price all four years that they attended a Georgia public school. That program is now suspended indefinitely.

With many parents feeling financial strain from the recession, and even private banks reluctant to give education loans, higher education looks harder to obtain.

Parents are now facing high tuition, in many cases to due to greater tuition increases than states have ever before seen, at public colleges. What’s more, because these schools are also facing budget cuts from the state, their classes have more students and their facilities are not always in great shape. “We’re paying more and getting less,” said a student at Humboldt State University.

And public colleges are supposed to be the economical college choice.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer