The Decline of the College Dollar

We were disappointed to read this week that students are paying more
and getting less for the money they spend to get a college education:

In 2006, the last year for which data is available, students at public colleges and research universities paid about half the cost of their education — defined as the cost of instruction, student services and a portion of spending on operations, support and maintenance. That is up about 10 percentage points since 2002. At community colleges, students covered
about 30 percent of their education, up from 24 percent.

At private institutions, the increases were less steep, but students cover a greater share: at private research universities, students paid 55.8 percent of the cost of their education in 2006, up from 55.3 percent in 2002. At private colleges that offer bachelors degrees — essentially, liberal arts colleges — the student share went to 63.5 percent in 2006 from 57.7 percent in 2002. At those that offer masters’ degrees, it went to 83.6 percent in 2006 from 75.5 percent in 2002.

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