“I think a lot of students don’t realize the financial reality: A lot of them can’t.”
This might not be such a problem if the cost of college wasn’t so inflated already.
From tuition hikes to higher student loan borrowing costs, inflation is making college even more expensive
Beyond highlighting the overwhelming burden of student loan debt, the last few years of economic turmoil have also shed light on the sky-high cost of college.
“Sometimes students feel the sense of ‘My parents are going to make it work,’” said Jennifer Finetti, director of student advocacy at ScholarshipOwl. “I think a lot of students don’t realize the financial reality: A lot of them can’t.”
In fact, college has never been more costly than it is today. That’s largely due to a convergence of factors including inflation’s sudden impact on the tuition tab, rising interest rates on student loans and the market decline’s effect on investments families were relying on to cover college bills.
Inflation drives college tuition prices higher
During the pandemic, increases in tuition and fees largely held steady, according to a report by the College Board, which tracks trends in college pricing and student aid.
For the 2021-22 academic year, average tuition and fees rose by just 1.3% to $3,800 for students at two-year schools; 1.6% for in-state students at four-year public colleges, reaching $10,740; and 2.1% for students at four-year private institutions, to $38,070.
Now, some colleges are hiking tuition as much as 5%, citing inflation and other pressures.
“We have increased undergraduate tuition 4.25% for the coming academic year, our largest increase in 14 years,” Boston University President Robert Brown recently said in a letter to the community.
“We are caught in an inflationary vise between the institutional pressures and the impact on our students and their families,” he wrote.
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