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Tuition costs aren't as bad as you think

Published: Wednesday, June 5 2013 4:43 p.m. MDT

How bad are college tuition costs?

Not as bad as you might think, according to Ritchie King’s article in Quartz, “College tuition in the US isn’t climbing as fast as you think.”

As King reports, things are definitely looking dismal to prospective students when it comes to tuition. In the past 25 years, tuition increased roughly 300 percent more than the median family income.

This statistic, however, doesn’t account for the rise in grants, scholarships and financial aid over the same time frame. So even though advertised tuition costs are soaring, the average student is paying 45 percent less than the sticker price.

Quartz reports that this is likely due to the fact that colleges are reluctant to cut costs. Instead of lowering the tuition, universities are more inclined to increase scholarships so they can maintain higher budgets.

“Perhaps it’s easier for a school to increase its scholarship fund than it is to re-jigger the budget and keep tuition flat,” King wrote on Wednesday.

Though tuition costs may not be as bad as some media outlets are letting on, the situation is still bad, the article also points out.

“Unfortunately, the financial aid that is available often isn’t going to the poorest students who really need it,” King wrote at the article’s conclusion.

“Instead (it goes) to those who only need a little extra to cover their tuition, since that way the school can fund more students with the same amount of aid.”

Read more about college tuition on Quartz.

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