College Costs Increase, but Record Amount of Financial Aid Available to Students
The College Board in two recent studies reported that college tuition and fees in 2001-2002 had increased an average of between 5.5 and 7.7 percent at four-year institutions, and between 5.5 and 5.8 percent at two-year institutions, while a record of more than $74 billion was available in student financial aid.
While student financial aid has almost doubled in the last decade, the growing reliance on loan programs instead of grants was responsible for two-thirds of this increase, says Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board.
Over the past quarter century, federal student aid has drifted from a grant-based to a loan-based system, producing a major change in the way many students and families finance postsecondary education.
According to the first College Board report, Trends in College Pricing 2001, undergraduates at American colleges will pay, on average, from $96 to $890 more than last year for tuition and fees this year, depending on the type of institution.
The Board’s second report, Trends in Student Aid 2001, indicates that student aid reached more than $74 billion in 2000-2001, an increase of 7.1 percent over the preceding year. This aid, from federal, state, and institutional sources, was available to students and their families in 2000-2001 to assist with the expenses of attending college. It is almost double the amount of aid that was available 10 years ago after adjusting for inflation.
The College Board is establishing a financial aid panel to initiate a national conversation on how to ensure that a lack of student financial aid is not a barrier to higher education for those students who are prepared and desire to attend college.
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