How Today's Students Are Paying For College

Are you interested in going to college but concerned about how to pay for it? If so, you’re probably not alone.  To that end, a new report by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center provides insight into how today’s students (and parents) are financing their undergraduate college education.  

The report presents data on the resources available to full-time undergraduate students in the U.S. through grants, federal tax benefits, loans and other sources.

What are current average tuition fees?

According to the report, from 2012-2013 the average tuition and fee prices ranged from $3,131 at public two-year colleges to $29, 056 at private nonprofit four-year institutions.[i]

Other key tuition-related findings include:

  • Over the last decade, tuition and fees had increased by $3,200
  • 17% of students in the private nonprofit four-year sector attend institutions charging less than $18,000 in tuition and fees
  • A similar percentage face tuition and free prices of $42,000 or more[i]

How are students paying for school?

The report also reveals at that in 2012-13, grants and tax benefits combined covered 63% of the average tuition and fees for fulltime undergraduates, compared to 51% in 2007-08.[i]

Other interesting findings related to how students are funding their education include:

  • In 2012-13, in the public four-year sector, grant aid and federal tax benefits covered a lower percentage of tuition and fees (but not of tuition, fees, room and board combined) than they did a decade earlier
  • In the public two-year sector, the share of total expenses covered by loans has more than doubled over the decade
  • Students and their families require loans and other resources to cover almost $2,000 more in tuition, fees and room and board combined than a decade ago
  • The share of expenses covered by student and family resources has remained stable for public four-year college students, but has declined for other sectors[i]

It’s clear from the report that tuition (and the need for student loans) have increased significantly in the last decade. The good news is there is help out there for those who qualify.  Click here to learn how you can apply for federal student aid to help fund your education.



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