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College Tuition and Fees Still on the Rise

Tuition and fee prices at colleges and universities experienced a modest increase this past year. According to College Board’s annual reports, “Trends in Student Aid” and “Trends in College Pricing,” tuition and fees rose by two percent for the 2017-18 year. In particular, private nonprofit higher institutions averaged a 1.9 percent increase, public four-year colleges rose by 1.2 percent, and public two-year schools climbed by 1.1 percent. Despite the small increases in 2017-18, financial aid for students failed to keep pace with the rising tuition costs. Learn more about the College Board’s annual reports by visiting the Inside Higher Ed website.

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SACUBO Meeting Keynote Speaker Discusses Issues Facing Higher Education

Last month, Jim Ratchford , Industry Leader of Cherry Bekaert’s Education Industry Group , attended the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers’ (“SACUBO”) Annual Meeting. While at the meeting Ratchford listened to the keynote speech from Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Education. Mr. Jaschik shared with attendees various issues currently facing higher education, some of which included the following: The Trump administration is proposing cuts to education programs, including research and work study. International students are choosing higher institutions in countries other than the U.S. Forty (40) percent of U.S. colleges and universities are reporting declines in international applications. Everyone realizes that these students are. Read More.

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College Tuition Discount Rate Close to 50 Percent

The National Association of College and University Business Officers’ (“NACUBO”) latest study shows that tuition discounts at colleges and universities are on the rise again. Due to low tuition revenue and weak enrollment numbers, the average tuition discount rate in 2016-17 for a first-time, full-time student increased to 49.1 percent (48 percent for previous year). Counting all undergraduates, the average rate increased to 44.2 percent (43 percent for previous year), marking new record highs for the annual study. NACUBO’s Ken Redd contributes higher financial needs since the Great Recession and growing competition for new students due to a decreasing number. Read More.

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FAFSA Changes Draw Mixed Responses

The Department of Education has announced that starting with the 2017-18 academic year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) will be released months earlier and the application deadline will be pushed up to October 1. In addition to the new schedule, FAFSA applications will automatically use the most recent federal tax data, which is a shift from having applicants estimate their family’s income data. While higher education groups believe the FAFSA changes will lead to a more simplified financial aid process, college access advocates feel the earlier deadlines could make it difficult for low-income students to receive aid.. Read More.

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Tuition Discount Rates Reach Record High

According to the latest National Association of College and University Business Officers (“NACUBO”) Tuition Discounting Study (“TDS”), tuition discount rates last year reached an all-time high. Results from the 2015 TDS reveal that the average institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time freshmen increased to 48.6 percent in 2015-16. Considering all 2015-16 undergraduates, the rate rose to 42.5 percent – another record high. The rise in institutional discount rates is being contributed in part to more students receiving grants. More on the 2015 Tuition Discounting Study is available on the NACUBO website.

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Public Colleges Relying More on State Funding

This year’s State Higher Education Finance report revealed that for the second straight year, public colleges and universities are depending more on state funding and less on tuition revenue. The study found that tuition made up 46.5 percent of public college revenue in 2015, marking another drop from the 47.8 percentage recorded in 2013. While public higher institutions are slowly recovering from pre-recession levels, the study also noted that state funding remains uneven across the country. For the full scoop on the State Higher Education Finance FY 2015 report, visit the Inside Higher Ed website.

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