Thursday, April 23, 2015

College Not Affordable

Most people still believe college is worth the cost, but only a fifth of Americans believe it’s affordable.

The cost of college in Colorado has shifted to students over the last 15 years, from 68 percent state funded to now only 32 percent state funded and students picking up two-thirds (68%) of the cost. Gallup reports that over those same 15 years that only a third of students report no college debt (37%), 28 percent report less than $25,000, but 35 percent report more than $25,000 in college debt.

Gallup reports 61 percent of the public believe college is available if you need it, but only 21 percent believe it’s affordable. And the cost of a child’s college education is a top financial worry of 73 percent of parents with children younger than 18 years old; second place is retirement.

Even parents with higher incomes worry. Seventy-three percent of parents with $75,000 to $100,000 in income list tuition their top worry and 61 percent with incomes more than $100,000 per year.

Along with the shift to tuition to pay for the operating of colleges, college building programs have been on a tear, often paid for by student tuition (many non-academic facility funds come from non-tuition sources).

In Colorado, CSU is the most aggressive example, with a huge increase in students, buildings and debt – students up 24 percent and debt up 500 percent. CSU also plans $400 million more in construction with a new football stadium and medical center.

BizWest: Debt puts higher ed in the red, students bear brunt of costs in lieu of dwindling state funds

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