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Report: Financial Aid and Tuition Rise at Colleges


With the rise in tuition and fee at higher education institutions, there has been a steady increase in financial aid and a decrease in loan borrowings by the students.

According to Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing report released by non-profit College Board, the grants per full-time equivalent (FTE) for undergraduate students saw an increase of 4 percent in between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.

The report has noted a decline in federal grant for graduate and undergraduate students in 2017-2018 but at the same time, the grant aid coming from colleges and universities has seen a substantial increase.

“The Trends in Higher Education series provides insight into trends in college pricing and financial aid,” said Jessica Howell, the College Board’s vice president of research.

“A college education is critical to one’s long-term financial security, yet many students and families face real financial barriers to college enrollment and success. The data on college prices and student aid included in these reports create a context for evaluating public policies designed to increase educational opportunities.”

Increase in Tuition

At public four-year colleges and universities for full-time out-of-state students, the tuition and fee rose from $25,670 in 2017-18 to $26,290 in 2018-19 while for in-state students, it rose from $9,980 in 2017-18 to $10,230 in 2018-19.

The tuition and fee rose at private nonprofit four-year institutions from $34,700 in 2017-18 to $35,830 in 2018-19.

The public two-year colleges were also slightly affected by tuition hike. The colleges saw an average increase of $100 from $3,560 in 2017-18 to $3,660 in 2018-19.

Overall Increase in Grants

The report found an increase of 14 percent in grant aid per FTE undergraduate from $7,890 in 2016-17 to $8,970 in 2017-18, but the decline in Pell Grant expenditures continues to worry students.

The expenditure which rose from $17.2 billion in 2007-08 to $40.1 billion in 2010-11 fell to $28.2 billion by 2017-18.

The grant from colleges and universities have also seen an increase of 24 percent from $48.4 billion in 2012-13 to $60.0 billion in 2017-18. The grant from states and other private sources have also seen a rise of nearly 10 percent.

When it comes to awarding the largest grants, private nonprofit four-year institutions topped the list by offering grants to low-income students ranging from $33,260 to $12,840 from middle-income students.

Also, the public doctoral universities on an average awarded $2,900 in grants to their full-time students.

Decline in Student Borrowing

The borrowing by students and parents is seeing a continuous decline for the seventh consecutive year from $127.7 billion in 2010-11 to $105.5 billion in 2017-18.

The Federal loans per FTE undergraduate student also saw a decline from $5,830 in 2010-11 to $4,510 in 2017-18.

The average debt among public four-year college graduates saw an increase of $700 in between 2011-12 and 2016-17 as a comparison to $3,700  between 2006-07 and 2011-12.

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