The state of U.S. higher education

Published on Oct 30, 2008

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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The global economic downturn is starting to affect higher education in the U.S., specifically when it comes to endowments, Reuters news service reports. Meanwhile tuition is continuing to grow at a rapid clip.

– For the nation’s public universities, which educate three out of four students, state subsidies covered a little over half of their budget costs last year, down from two-thirds in 1998. Tuition has grown to cover more than a third of their budgets, up from one-fifth 15 years ago.

– Tuition, room and board at private four-year schools in 2007-2008 averaged $31,019, up 7 percent from two years ago after adjusting for inflation. The cost of public schools was $16,758 for in-state students, $24,955 for out-of-state students, up 5 percent in the last two years after inflation.

– Federal loan aid for higher education increased 60 percent between 1996 and 2005. Students borrowed $77 billion last year to pay expenses to attend colleges and universities. Two out of three students received grants — discounts on tuition — averaging $9,300 at private schools and $3,600 at public schools.

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