|It's Getting a Little Cheaper to Attend School - But Not Much|
|Subject||Financing a College Education Both Publicly and Privately|
|Topic||Supply and Demand|
Supply, Cost, Price, Tuition Increases, State Budgets
The average cost of a public university education will increase by about 9% next year, compared to about 14% last year, compared with the average private-university cost, which will increase by about 6% for the 2004-05 academic year.
Part of the significant increase last year came about as state governments faced enormous, unexpected budget shortfalls. State governments were thus unable to provide public institutions with as much support as in the past. As a result, institutions significantly increased tuition to counterbalance the shortfall. Now, as the economy begins to pick up, and state governments see tax revenues increase, state revenue shortfalls are not as significant as before. For example, last year, Arizona public students saw tuition increase 39%, and this year tuition is only increasing by 13%.
Quality of instruction has also been affected here as well, as budget-pressed institutions resort to larger classes, fewer instructors (with no salary increases), and fewer services offered. Now that revenues are back up, existing services may increase as funding increases.
Private institutions have been able to enjoy smaller tuition increases,
partly because they begin at a much larger tuition price anyway (a 5%
increase in a $30,000 tuition rate [$1,500] can bring in a significant
amount of money), but also because private schools do not rely on state
government revenues. Rather, private institutions rely on private endowments
for operating revenues. With the stock market increasing faster than state
budgets, endowments have increased. Thus, students lucky enough to attend
private schools have enjoyed more success in financing their educations.
(Updated August, 2004)
|Source||Mark Landler. "Europe Reluctantly Deciding it Has Less Time for Time Off." The Wall Street Journal. 7 July 2004.|
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