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Key Events in the History of College Tuition Costs
MyWikiBiz, Author Your Legacy — Wednesday May 22, 2013
1973 The average tuition at a four-year private college or university for the 1973-74 academic year comes to $9,876 in 2008 dollars. At a four-year public college or university, tuition averages $2,175 for a student who lives in the state in which the school is located. Meanwhile, the cost of attending a two-year college in 1973-74 is $1,360.
2007 The U.S. officially enters an economic recession in December. The recession, still in effect in March 2009, is expected to be the longest and deepest economic downturn since World War II (1939-45).
2008 In September, Rep. Peter Welch (D, Vt.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R, Iowa) convene a congressional meeting with several dozen college administrators to discuss skyrocketing tuition costs. Welch and Grassley suggest that the wealthiest private colleges and universities start spending their vast endowments in order to ease tuition costs, rather than simply hoarding the billions of dollars in those endowments.
The average tuition for the 2008-09 academic year is $25,143 for private colleges and universities, $6,585 for a public college or university (for in-state students) and $2,402 for a two-year college. Overall, college tuition increases by approximately 6% between the academic years 2007-08 and 2008-09.
2009 Many colleges claim they are feeling the strain of the economic recession, in the wake of state budget cuts (which primarily affect public colleges) and decreases in the value of endowments (which affect private institutions). Meanwhile, undergraduates have a harder time obtaining student loans, due to the stagnant credit market; a poll finds that 65% of college registrars said they had noticed an uptick in the number of unpaid tuition bills during the 2008-09 school year.
The Delta Cost Project on Post-Secondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability, a nonprofit organization critical of college tuition costs, publishes a report alleging that educational spending at public colleges declined slightly between 1995 and 2006. During those years, however, tuition increased by 29% at public four-year colleges, and by 18.1% at two-year schools.
President Obama (D) signs into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a wide-ranging stimulus bill intended to help ease the economic pain of the recession. The bill includes several multibillion-dollar programs geared toward higher education, including a $15 billion program that will increase the maximum possible Pell grant to $5,550, from $4,731. Pell grants are need-based college grants awarded by the federal government.
Despite the relatively small tuition hike between the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years, experts predict that the 2009-10 academic year may see double-digit tuition increases at U.S. colleges and universities.
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Name: Key Events in the History of College Tuition Costs