The Rising Cost Of Higher Education: What Now?

Career College Central Summary:

  • In New York, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has been free since it was founded in 1859. But this year, facing dire financial circumstances, President Bharucha has sought to change that defining trait. On April 21st, the Board of Trustees voted to begin charging undergraduate tuition in Fall 2014.
  • In Oregon, the state legislature passed a bill on July 1st to investigate how to implement a "Pay It Forward, Pay It Back" (PIF) tuition plan, which would allow students at Oregon's public universities to attend college without paying first, as long as they agreed to pay up to three percent of their income for 20 years after graduating.
  • While some praised the plan for creating tuition-free universities, it does not address the fundamental problem of the price of higher education. Critics have argued it only delays or hides costs. The Oregon plan's target is not tuition but student debt, and its organizers acknowledge that it is only one step in what needs to be a much broader rethinking of higher education funding.
  • Since 1978, tuition has increased 1,120 percent nationally, and is rising faster than the rate of inflation. State and local funding for higher education declined seven percent in 2012, and in 2011, students graduated with an average of $26,500 in student loans.

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