Published by Forbes.com
February 1, 2016
Few issues in American higher education today are less well understood yet subject to greater controversy than the price of a college education. In recent years, state legislatures, Congress and even the president have taken on the higher education establishment over the high price of college. The press has jumped on the bandwagon with feature articles, television stories and op-ed pieces. As a result of this rather negative publicity, colleges and universities are being put on the defensive and are being asked to act.
Over the last 20 years, the average published price for a year of tuition and fees at a private four-year college has increased from $11,719 to $31,231, an increase of 166%, an increase two and a half times the 61% rise in the Consumer Price Index. Adjusting for inflation, the price of tuition and fees has escalated by 67% at four-year private colleges and by 60 percent at two-year public colleges. Reflecting decreased government funding, the price has more than doubled at four- year public colleges. (Trends in College Pricing 2014 p.16) During this same period, the median family income in the U.S., also adjusted for inflation, has increased 5.2% from $51,006 to $53,657, but it has actually declined by more than 7% since 1999 when it peaked at $57,843.Read Full Article Here