The cost of university has increased by 26%

University has been expensive for a long time. While proposals and campaigns have called for free or discounted higher education, the era of big legislation – like the GI Bill, which expanded college accessibility to large swathes of the population – is behind us. for the moment.

Without legislative intervention, it can become increasingly difficult to pay for higher education as tuition and fees continue to rise. Researchers from Student Loan Hero found that tuition fees increased by 26% in public colleges, 26% in private colleges, and 20% in public and private colleges between 2010-2011 and 2019-2020.

The tuition hike has only worsened statewide, with tuition fees at four-year public universities increasing 99% in Louisiana and more than 50% in several other states. Find out where tuition fees have increased the most – and the least – over the past decade.

Main conclusions

  • Tuition and fees have increased across the board. Tuition fees jumped 26% in public colleges, 26% in private colleges and 20% in public and private colleges between 2010-2011 and 2019-2020.
  • Louisiana has seen the largest increase in tuition fees in the past 10 years. Tuition fees at four-year public institutions averaged $ 9,358 in 2019-2020, a 99% increase from $ 4,702 in 2010-2011. During the same period, West Virginia and Mississippi followed with 62% and 57%
  • Washington recorded the smallest tuition increase in the state. Tuition fees in Evergreen state only increased by 5% between 2010-2011 and 2019-2020 – the only state to record a single-digit increase.
  • Median rent increases do not predict tuition costs. Although Washington recorded the smallest increase in tuition fees in the state during the period under review, it recorded the second increase in median gross rent (50%) between 2010 and 2019, behind Colorado at 59%.

State by State, Tuition Fees Rise Faster

While tuition fees at private and public colleges increased 20% nationally between 2010-2011 and 2019-2020, costs for public schools and private schools alone each jumped 26%.

These numbers were even more astounding at the state level. In general, a public school in the state might be the cheapest sticker price for students. Even still, those costs have jumped 36% on average in each of the 50 states. And tuition fees for public schools outside the state have also increased by 35% on average.

The coronavirus crisis may have drawn attention to the high cost of university, with some schools charging full price for online programming only. But, so far, that hasn’t led to sweeping revisions to improve affordability. Senior Student Loan Hero writer Andrew Pentis believes it may take more than a pandemic to change the trajectory of tuition fees.

“The cost of a university education has risen steadily and steadily faster than any other consumer expense in decades,” Pentis said. “It’s hard to imagine this trendline slowing down once we really have the end of the pandemic in sight.”

Southern states saw the biggest tuition fee increases this decade

While a 36% increase in tuition fees in all 50 states is certainly significant, that average pales compared to the states with the highest increases. Louisiana nearly doubled its average tuition fees in the state, from $ 4,702 in 2010-11 to $ 9,358 in 2019-20, a jump of 99%.

West Virginia saw the second highest tuition increase in the state at 62%. The 10 states whose state tuition increased the most averaged a 57% increase.

Of those states, seven were in the South, each of which was in the top five – Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, Virginia, and Tennessee.

10 states with the highest percentage increases for tuition fees in the state from 2010-2011 to 2019-2020
Rank State 2010-2011 tuition fees in the state 2019-2020 tuition fees in the state Change
1 Louisiana $ 4,702 $ 9,358 99%
2 West Virginia $ 4,944 $ 8,016 62%
3 Mississippi $ 5,301 $ 8,340 57%
4 Virginia $ 8,658 $ 13,413 55%
5 Tennessee $ 6,407 $ 9,789 53%
6 Alaska $ 5,578 $ 8,396 51%
7 Oklahoma $ 5,244 $ 7,866 50%
8 Hawaii $ 6,635 $ 9,952 50%
9 Alabama $ 6,808 $ 10,138 49%
ten Connecticut $ 8,854 $ 12,959 46%
Average over 50 states $ 7,248 $ 9,743

Notably, tuition fees in each of the top 10 states, except Virginia and Connecticut, fell below the 50-state average in 2010-2011. Across all states, tuition fees in the state averaged $ 7,248 in 2010-11, compared to $ 8,658 in Virginia and $ 8,854 in Connecticut.

In 2019-2020, Tennessee, Hawaii, and Alabama joined Virginia and Connecticut among states with above-average costs.

“It makes sense that states and regions with historically low cost of living have the most room, so to speak, to raise their consumer prices,” Pentis said.

The Smallest Tuition Fee Changes Spread Across the United States

Naturally, every state has increased tuition fees over the years under review, but some by only a fraction of the national average. Washington recorded the smallest increase, increasing tuition fees in the state by just 5% from 2010-11 to 2019-20 – the only state to report a single-digit percentage increase.

10 states with the lowest percentage increases for tuition fees in the state from 2010-2011 to 2019-2020
Rank State 2010-2011 tuition fees in the state 2019-2020 tuition fees in the state Change
1 Washington $ 6,678 $ 7,036 5%
2 Delaware $ 9,646 $ 10,607 ten%
3 California $ 7,357 $ 8,118 ten%
4 Maine $ 8,876 $ 9,930 12%
5 Wisconsin $ 7,391 $ 8,697 18%
6 Ohio $ 8,501 $ 10,068 18%
7 Florida $ 3,720 $ 4,443 19%
8 Missouri $ 7,120 $ 8,554 20%
9 Indiana $ 7,614 $ 9,225 21%
ten Montana $ 5,753 $ 6,972 21%
Average over 50 states $ 7,248 $ 9,743

The 10 states with the smallest increases increased prices in the state by 16% on average, less than half the rate for the 50 states.

Only four of the 10 states with the smallest increases – Washington, Florida, Missouri, and Montana – reported tuition fees below the 50-state average in 2010-11.

In 2019-2020, only Delaware, Maine, and Ohio (among those 10 states) recorded average tuition fees in the state above the average.

Higher tuition fees don’t mean higher rent

For some students, the cost of living in the vicinity of a college can play a role in financial preparation for school. Students interested in living off campus might wonder if the rental is cheaper than the school’s room and board costs. And while the costs are likely related, there doesn’t appear to be a strong correlation between local tuition fees and rent increases.

Louisiana, for example, may have seen the largest average tuition increase in the state of any state, but only an 18% increase in median gross rent from $ 736 in 2010 to $ 886 in 2019. On the contrary, Washington may have seen the lowest tuition fees. increase in the country, but this is overshadowed by the second-largest median rent increase, 50% ($ 908 in 2010 to $ 1,359 in 2019).

Overall, the 10 states with the highest tuition fee increases from 2010 to 2019 saw their rents increase by an average of 23%, compared to 27% for the 10 states with the lowest tuition increases. . Likewise, median gross rent costs increased by an average of 27% in all 50 states during this period, at least partially negating the idea that tuition increases affect rent increases or vice versa.

Forecast college costs

A federal plan to help students pay for college education may not be the best or the only answer to rising tuition fees.

“A slight increase in federal financial aid usually leads colleges and universities to increase their prices, not decrease them,” explains Pentis.

The good news is that new student loans have trended downward over the past decade due to several factors, including increased financial aid and better informed consumers. But those preparing to pay or attend college can help themselves by finding as much information as possible about what they might expect to owe for a future education.

“Many argue that higher education – and the way we fund it – is about to experience a real revolution in the coming decade, but it’s hard to find any short-term signs that tuition fees are going up. stagnate, ”says Pentis.

Whatever happens in the near future or in the future, it’s always a good idea to start saving early and explore scholarship or financial aid options before you need to apply for a student loan. There are many ways to reduce your education costs, ranging from finding more affordable housing to renting instead of borrowing textbooks. While waiting for major changes from colleges or governments, consumers must take it upon themselves to find ways to save money.

About Joan Ferguson

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