College tuition has never been cheap, regardless of the decade, but it has grown a lot more expensive in recent years.
According to a Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce research, the average cost of the college experience—including accommodation, board, and tuition—increased by 169 percent in the 40 years between 1980 and 2020. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a student in 1980 could attend a four-year college for $10,000 a year. There was an increase in the overall price to almost $33,000 in 2019-20.
According to FinAid.org, tuition rises at a pace of 8 percent each year on average. Even yet, the recent years have seen a decrease in this rate.
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers data was used by GOBankingRates to calculate the annual rise in tuition. Between May 2021 and May 2022, the national average for tuition, other school fees, and child care costs rose by 2.5 percent, although college tuition and fees only rose by 2.1 percent and high school prices rose by 2.9 percent.
A 0.2% rise in college tuition from February 2022 to March 2022, 0.2% increase from March 2022 to April 2022, and 0.1% increase from April 2022 to May 2022.
There is more to college tuition than just inflation, however. According to BestColleges.com, college attendance has decreased throughout the epidemic, perhaps because of health concerns on campuses and the high expense of tuition. Undergraduate enrolment fell by 6.6% between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2021, resulting in the departure of around a million students. As a consequence, several universities have been compelled to reduce their workforce and raise tuition.
There have been tuition and fee hikes at many colleges, including Boston University and the University of Virginia, that will take effect for the 2022-2023 academic year. Federal student loans will also be more costly in 2022-2023, with interest rates rising from 3.73% to 4.993% for undergraduate loans and from 5.283% to 6.543% for graduate student loans, according to the United States Treasury.
Although inflation will continue to push up college tuition costs, it is possible that the pace of increase will be less frightening than the rate at which other aspects of the economy are growing.
If a college student has already paid for their tuition and other significant expenses, such as housing and board and meals when supplied by the school, then the Wall Street Journal says that being a student is a kind of inflation protection since most key expenditures have already been paid.
In addition, they point out that, on average, tuition is growing less quickly than inflation, which is advantageous for parents and students. While this doesn’t address the root causes of inflation, it does ensure that going to college won’t become an impossibly costly endeavor in the near future.
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Inflation Has Impacted College Tuition Across the Country