The U.S. continues to suffer from an economic recession. Citizens of all ages, all across the country have felt the effects of America’s financial condition and college students are no exception.
Inflation is a natural part of any economy. It refers to a rise (measured in a percentage) in the expenses of living. Like governments and families worldwide, colleges and universities suffer from the effects inflation. Annual inflation for college tuition is higher now than ever before. Every year, the price of college tuition increases by approximately four to six to percent.
It is no coincidence that colleges and universities are hit harder than the average family by the state of the economy and rising inflation. In some states, like Florida, public schools receive a great deal of their funding from property taxes and one of the most devastating results of the recession has been the decline in property value.
Colleges have to update technology far more frequently than an American household. Managing and updating computers, databases, media centers, and even security features naturally cost money. The schools have to find a way to pay for such things and as technology continues to constantly improve, tuition costs are rising.
The mediocre pay of teachers at all levels of education has been well-documented, but recently more and more teachers are starting to receive the pay raises they have long deserved. This money has to come from somewhere and student tuition is a start.
Rising tuition costs can be most easily sourced to one basic economic principle: demand. Quite simply, an increasing number of students of all ages are striving for success and pursuing college degrees. This rising interest has allowed colleges to be more flexible in their tuition costs.
To make matters worse, some tax and government-funded scholarship foundations are making the requirements for award eligibility more difficult to achieve. Bright Futures in Florida, for example, increased their required ACT score from 28 to 30 to be eligible for a full Bright Futures scholarship. But this foundation is not alone. The funding, or lack thereof, for many scholarship foundations will continue restrict their award flexibility in the future.
College tuition costs are rising and they have shown no indication yet of leveling off. Primary reasons for tuition increase include inflation and the economic recession the United States is currently suffering from, the expenses of college to provide the best possible educational experience, the improved pay of teachers, and the simple law of demand. Students, and their parents, expecting to attend college after high school should take into consideration all the financial expenses that come with postsecondary education, and in States that offer dual enrollment opportunities, jump at the chance.