Where is College Tuition Increasing Most?
Posted By Eliana Osborn on August 17, 2015 at 11:37 am
No matter where you look, college costs seem to be increasing across the board. States are cutting funding, investments in technology and campus improvements are becoming more expensive, and alongside it all, students are going into more and more debt to earn their degrees.
The US Department of Education has a tool, the College Affordability and Transparency Center, where users can find out data about tuition and cost increases across a range of school types. And each year, the DOE releases a report of the worst offenders -institutions with the most dramatic changes to student costs. While critics contend that the report is simply a publicity stunt without any real value, the numbers at the very least provide a starting point for students to ask questions about where their tuition dollars are going – and how their school’s tuition rates compare to others in the same category. Below are the top 20 public schools for increases to tuition and net cost:
Tuition Increases, 2011-2014
|Institution||State||2011-12 Tuition||2013-14 Tuition||% Increase|
|East Georgia State College||GA||$2,678||$4,206||57|
|Northern New Mexico College||NM||$2,822||$4,060||44|
|Nicholls State University||LA||$4,737||$6,468||37|
|The University of West Florida||FL||$4,701||$6,357||35|
|Texas Woman’s University||TX||$5,429||$7,339||35|
|Western State Colorado University||CO||$5,473||$7,343||34|
|The University of Tennessee-Knoxville||TN||$8,396||$11,194||33|
|Adams State University||CO||$5,627||$7,449||32|
|Southern University and A & M College||LA||$5,074||$6,630||31|
|McNeese State University||LA||$4,383||$5,701||30|
|University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma||OK||$3,744||$4,866||30|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||LA||$4,864||$6,192||27|
|University of New Orleans||LA||$5,214||$6,578||26|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||VA||$9,517||$12,002||26|
|Southern University at New Orleans||LA||$3,906||$4,911||26|
|Jackson State University||MS||$5,050||$6,348||26|
Net Price Increases, 2010-2013
|University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon||PR||$220||$2,804||1,175|
|University of Puerto Rico-Aguadilla||PR||$474||$2,304||386|
|Texas A & M University-Texarkana||TX||$1,923||$9,288||383|
|Colorado Mountain College||CO||$2,740||$9,946||263|
|Texas A & M International University||TX||$2,279||$6,344||178|
|South Texas College||TX||$587||$1,483||153|
|The University of Texas at El Paso||TX||$2,543||$6,089||139|
|Elizabeth City State University||NC||$909||$1,993||119|
|Oklahoma Panhandle State University||OK||$5,830||$11,456||97|
|Navajo Technical University||NM||$2,314||$4,418||91|
|College of Coastal Georgia||GA||$6,338||$10,585||67|
|Alabama A & M University||AL||$7,792||$12,887||65|
|Fayetteville State University||NC||$3,673||$5,914||61|
|California State University-Fullerton||CA||$4,294||$6,885||60|
|South Florida State College||FL||$3,458||$5,536||60|
|California State Polytechnic University-Pomona||CA||$6,789||$10,693||58|
Schools in Puerto Rico seem to have been hit especially hard, as well as several public colleges in Texas. One Puerto Rican university has experienced a tuition increase over 1000%, going from $220 to $2804 between 2011 and 2014.
Private universities, particularly small ones, appear to be vulnerable to dramatic price fluctuations. Low endowments mean that any changes to campus must be funded more directly, rather than spread out over a long-term investment. Religiously-oriented schools are also prominent on the list.
The winner of this dubious accolade? Family of Faith College in Oklahoma, where tuition went from $663 to over $16,000 between 2011 and 2014, an increase of 2317%.
The data does come with some disclaimers: in some cases, the original tuition rate of schools was exceptionally low, possibly misrepresenting the change. And other schools who don’t make the list may have added tens of thousands of dollars to already high prices. No matter the situation, however, higher education funding is a significant cost that has to be paid for by someone – and increasingly, that someone is the student.
The message for students remains the same: be an informed consumer. Before agreeing to attend an institution, even if it’s your dream school, it’s smart to research past prices and compare them to current ones. It may take some digging, but it’s important to know what you are signing on for.