Wednesday, December 19, 2012

College Becoming Unaffordable Due to the Economy

Colleges and universities are cutting financial aid, which of course hurts poor and minority students most:

College and university endowments have recovered most of the losses they sustained during the recession, now that the economy has begun to grow. Yet as this year’s high school seniors begin to fill out applications and aid forms, a number of prestigious smaller colleges are straining to meet students’ financial needs. To bridge the gap, some colleges have begun revising their financial aid formulas, raising concerns about how campus diversity — both economic and racial — might be affected.

It’s not just private colleges and universities that are becoming increasingly unaffordable:

For generations of Americans, public colleges and universities offered an affordable option for earning a college degree. Now, cash-strapped states across the country are cutting funding for colleges and directing scarce resources to primary and secondary schooling, Medicaid and prisons. That is shifting more of the cost of higher education to students and their families.
…Public-college enrollment exploded after World War II and the adoption of the GI Bill. As recently as 1951, more Americans were enrolled in private universities than public ones. Sixty years later, more than 15 million students were enrolled at the nation's 678 public colleges and universities, nearly three times the number attending private ones, according to the Education Department.

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