Entries in Tuition (10)


Sarah Lawrence Tops List of Most Expensive US Colleges

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A college degree may be losing its value, but the price tag for a four-year education continues to rise.

The cost to attend college for one year exceeded $60,000 for the first time this year, according to Campus Grotto, a college publication that compiles an annual list of the most expensive colleges.

Tuition at more than 70 colleges is more than $55,000, according to Campus Grotto, and the sticker price often makes it necessary for students to seek financial assistance through student loans and other means.

Last year, the total student debt surpassed $1 trillion.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, nearly one in every five U.S. households is saddled with student loan debt.

The Pew Report found that 40 percent of all households headed by those younger than 35 had student loan debt. Among households owing on student loans, the average outstanding loan balance increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the meantime, the cost of a college degree continues to climb.

This year the cost to attend the most expensive college, Sarah Lawrence College, for one year was  more than double the average outstanding loan balance in 2010. The private college in New York’s Westchester County charges its students $61,236 a year for tuition, room and board and fees.

Here’s Campus Grotto’s list of the top 10 most expensive colleges:

1. Sarah Lawrence College
Total Cost: $61,236

2. New York University
Total Cost: $59,837

3. Harvey Mudd College
Total Cost: $58,913

4. Columbia University
Total Cost: $58,742

5. Wesleyan University

Total Cost: $58,202

6. Claremont McKenna College
Total Cost: $58,065

7. Dartmouth College
Total Cost: $57,996

8. Drexel University
Total Cost: $57,975

9. University of Chicago

Total Cost: $57,711

10. Bard College
Total Cost: $57,580

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cut Down on College Costs by Applying for Scholarships Early

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(NEW YORK) -- The cost of college can be extremely expensive, but there are many scholarships and grants that can lower the price by thousands of dollars.

So what's the quickest way to start your search for them?  Go online.

"If you want to get scholarships the key is to cast a very, very wide net," advises Farnoosh Torabi at Yahoo! Finance.

She says search the term "free college tuition."

"The earlier you start the better.  One of the mistakes is students often start their senior year or late in their junior year applying for scholarships but many deadlines are in your sophomore or freshman year," says Torabi.

Several websites -- such as,, and -- may help, she says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Education Department Introduces College Cost ‘Window Stickers’

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Education has released a new tool it says will help consumers understand the costs of higher education before making the choice of whether, and where, to enroll.

Dubbed the “Shopping Sheet,” the Obama administration introduced on Tuesday nationally standardized financial aid award letters they say will lay out all costs associated with a particular school, while tailored to the individual student.  Loan interest rates, scholarship options, housing rent, food, books, and veterans benefits will all be displayed on this single form, serving as a calculator.

The design is aesthetically similar to the costs sheet displayed in new vehicle windows at auto dealerships, and would be distributed by colleges in their financial aid packages.

Colleges and universities already make all of this information available to potential students, but some schools have been criticized for confusing language in awards letters and the difficulty in piecing together the numbers scattered across an abundance of school-related correspondence.


In a conference call with reporters, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the lack of uniformity in how schools provide the information “makes comparison shopping, which we think is important, almost impossible.”

“These letters all look different, contain different information, and often do a poor job of making clear how much a student will receive in aid, in grants, in scholarships, and how much they will have to take out in the form of student loans,” he said.

Participation in the program by colleges and universities is voluntary, but the government hopes schools will view it as a way to bring in students who may otherwise fail to understand what options are within their reach.

This fall, millions of students will begin freshman classes at colleges around the country.  But between rising tuition rates and calculating student loan interests, more Americans are coming to believe those costs aren’t worth the payoff.  The federal government reports the average cost of public education rose 15 percent between 2008 and 2010, with two thirds of students owing more than $26,000 in loans upon graduation.

“Too many students I meet across the country tell me the first time they really understood how much debt they were in was when the first bill arrived,” Duncan said.  “And clearly, that’s far too late and is simply not fair.”

Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau joined Duncan on the call.

“There are now more than $8.1 billion in defaulted private loans, and even more are in delinquency,” he said.  “The bottom line is that no consumer should take on a large amount of debt without understanding the costs and the risks up front.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Americans See College as Bad Investment, Survey Finds

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The college degree continues to lose its value in the face of costs that overwhelm the finances of many American families.

That’s the finding of a national survey of 3,000 Americans commissioned by Country Financial.  According to the poll, the number of adults who think college is a good investment plummeted from 81 percent in 2008 to just 57 percent in 2012.

While recognition of the value of a college education was on the upswing from 2007 to 2008, rising from 78 percent to 81 percent, since the Great Recession began the figures have dropped like a stone.  The steepest decline came in 2008 and 2009, when the number of people that saw college as a good investment dropped from 79 percent to 64 percent.

Despite the pessimism surrounding college education as an investment, the survey found that Americans were willing to spend more for a college degree.  In 2012, four in ten Americans viewed student loan debt of $20,000 or more as acceptable, up from three in ten Americans in 2011.

“Even with the cost of college rising faster than inflation, a college degree is more valuable than ever,” Joe Buhrmanan, a manager at Country Financial said in a statement.  ”And, an aggressive plan for funding your child’s education can help eliminate the burden of unmanageble student loan debt.”

In the survey by Country Financial Security, the majority of Americans found the quality of education to be the most important aspect when evaluating colleges, while 25 percent considered the cost of college to be more important.

According to the U.S. Department of Education College Affordability Center, the most expensive four-year non-profit college is Connecticut College with a whopping tuition price tag of $43,990.  At $15,250, Pennsylvania State (Main Campus) holds the number one spot for least expensive tuition at a four-year public institution.

The individuals most likely to be saddled with the rising cost of college are parents.  According to the survey, 80 percent of Americans believe that mom and dad should be partially responsible for footing the bill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Student Loan Debt Continues to Soar

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(NEW YORK) -- Two out of three college students graduating this spring will have student loan debt, with the average loan amounting to nearly $25,000.  And as costs continue to rise, the amount owed is piling up, causing many borrowers to fall behind on their payments.

Almost every year, college tuition costs go up faster than inflation, making the bills tough to pay.

As Gerri Detweiler of notes, "Student loan debt is becoming a huge problem for so many Americans students and their parents."

She says student loan debt is approaching $1 trillion.

"It's larger than auto loans and it's larger than credit card debt," Detweiler explains.

And it can be hard to pay off.

"We have over five million Americans who are behind on payments on their student loans," she says.

Detweiler's advice to students?  Take out federal student loans not private ones.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Professors' Group Say US Faculty Salaries Not Driving Tuition Hikes

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Stagnant faculty salaries for teaching professionals across the U.S. belie the common belief that professors' incomes are driving increased costs of higher education, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) reported in a study released on Monday.

In a report called, "A Very Slow Recovery: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011–12," the AAUP says the overall average salary for full-time faculty members, on average, rose 1.8 percent in the 2011 to 2012 academic year.

In the past decade at public two-year colleges, published tuition and fees, excluding scholarship aid and adjusted for inflation, have increased by 44.8 percent.  Faculty salaries, meanwhile, have decreased by 2.5 percent, according to the report.

Over the past decade at public four-year colleges and universities, tuition and fees have increased by 72 percent, the association said.

The cost of higher education continues to soar, rising 8.3 percent at four-year public colleges in the fall, the College Board reported.

Colleges and universities are also relying less on tenured faculty to teach classes and more on part-time faculty who may be paid as little as $2,000 to teach a course.  Over 60 percent of instructional staff in 2009 were either part-time faculty or graduate students.

The average salary is $82,556 for professors, many of whom have invested years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in their own education.

The gap between the pay of college presidents and professors widens meanwhile, said the AAUP, which has 47,000 members at colleges and universities in the U.S.  Between the 2006-2007 academic year and the 2010-2011 year, median presidential salaries increased 9.8 percent when adjusted for inflation.

With a three percent rate of inflation, faculty salaries actually fell by an average of 1.2 percent, the group said.  The average salary increase for faculty members who remained employed at the same institution -- 2.9 percent -- barely kept pace with inflation, the group said.

Saranna Thornton, professor of economics and department chair at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and chair of the AAUP's Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession, was the primary author of this year's report.  She said data for the last 10 academic years, 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, shows that, adjusted for inflation, the research "demonstrates unequivocally that faculty salaries are not driving up the costs of higher education."

John Curtis, director of research and public policy with the American Association of University Professors, said there are frequent assertions from legislators and others that say otherwise.

When a parent asked Vice President Joe Biden in January why college costs continue to rise, one of the reasons he pointed to was faculty pay, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

"Salaries for college professors have escalated significantly," Biden said during a town hall in Pennsylvania.  "They should be good, but they have escalated significantly."

Curtis said the data in this year's report demonstrate that is not true.

"Over the course of a number of these annual reports, we've been making the case that the real issue is priorities," Curtis said. "Full-time faculty salaries have been stagnant, and an increasing proportion of instruction is being shifted to part-time faculty members who are poorly paid, not provided with benefits, and not provided with the support they need to do the jobs they are capable of."

As a result, he said, the proportion of higher-education spending that goes to instruction has been declining.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


UC Berkeley Launches Financial Aid Program for Middle Class

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- University of California, Berkeley, has launched a new financial aid program for middle-class families, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced Wednesday.

The new program, named Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP), caps parental tuition contribution at 15 percent of annual earnings for families whose gross annual income is between $80,000 to $140,000.

The program is unprecedented -- no other college has implemented a financial aid program specifically targeted to the middle class.

The university is launching this initiative because of California’s high cost of living and the increase in tuition costs in recent years.

The current cost of attendance at UC Berkeley for non-California residents living on campus is estimated to average $55,512 per year for students living on campus. For California residents, that number is $32,634 per year.

“While our extraordinary commitment to financial aid has, in recent years, led to both an increasing number of lower income students on the Berkeley campus and a reduction in their net cost of attendance, we see early signs that middle-income families who cannot access existing assistance programs are straining to meet college costs. As a public institution we feel strongly that we need to sustain and expand access across the socio-economic spectrum. This plan is part of our commitment to ensuring that financial challenges do not prevent qualified students from attending one of the preeminent public universities in the nation,” said Birgeneau.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Public College Costs Surge 8.3%

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(NEW YORK) -- The College Board reported Wednesday that average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges surged 8.3 percent this fall, just as President Obama released details of his plan to help students deal with a debt burden that has expanded to more than $1 trillion.

“The national increase in tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for the 2011-12 academic year was influenced substantially by the State of California,” the Princeton, N.J.-based group said in a statement Wednesday. “Nationally, the increase for the public four-year sector was 8.3 percent between 2010-11 and 2011-12 including California but only 7.0 percent excluding it. Similarly, the national increase for public two-year institutions was 8.7 percent including California and 7.4 percent excluding it.”

President Obama revealed his “Pay as You Earn” proposal Tuesday to reduce monthly student loan payments starting in 2014. Borrowers will be able to cut their monthly student loan payments to 10 percent of their discretionary income and the plan will forgive the balance of their debt after 20 years of payments.  Starting this January, an estimated 6 million students and recent college graduates will be able to consolidate their loans and reduce their interest rates.

The College Board said the tuition increases stemmed from a weakened economy and state funding that has not kept pace with the growth in college enrollments. “For the fifth consecutive year, the percentage increase in average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities was higher than the percentage increase at private nonprofit four-year colleges. While national data provide an important snapshot of overall college prices, this year’s data also reveal substantial state-to-state pricing variations underlying the national averages,” the group said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Day Care Now Costs More than College, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Parents of newborn children are likely dreading the prospect of sending their kids to college, figuring the cost in 2029 will be astronomical.

But they better start saving their pennies now, because day care costs are exceeding the tuition of some four-year colleges.

According to a study by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, one year of infant day care exceeds the cost of public colleges in 36 states and the District of Columbia, where it's a whopping $18,200.

Putting kids in Mississippi day care centers is a relative bargain at around $4,650 annually.

Parents better start shopping around for bargains where they can find them because the cost of day care goes up every year, not down.  It increased 1.9 percent on average nationally over the past year because of the rising price of food and labor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


College Student Pays Tuition in Dollar Bills

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DENVER) -- University of Colorado-Boulder student Nic Ramos made his point about the rising cost of education Friday morning when he paid his $14,000 tuition entirely in $1 bills, reports Denver ABC affiliate KMGH.

The 20-year-old economics major packed 33 pounds of cash that he had withdrawn from several different bank branches over two days into a duffel bag and delivered the cash to the CU business office Friday morning.

The large cash payment has drawn an even larger amount of attention since the Boulder Daily Camera posted an interview with Ramos on YouTube.

"It might seem like it's kind of a useless cause," Ramos said in the video.  But, he said, "Just the sheer volume [of cash], just looking at this really sends a message.  Money does talk.  Tuition is extremely high for out-of-state [students] and it's only going up for in-state [students].  Maybe...people will kind of think of how much it really does cost to go to CU."

Ramos continued to tell the Boulder Daily Camera that he wanted to show the school "how much people are willing to give up" and "how much education really does cost for just one semester."

Bronson Hilliard, a spokesman for the university, told The New York Times it took three clerks nearly an hour to count the money.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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