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ERIC Number: ED499384
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Higher Education: Tuition Continues to Rise, but Patterns Vary by Institution Type, Enrollment, and Educational Expenditures. Report to the Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives. GOA-08-245
Government Accountability Office
Higher education has increasingly become critical to the nation's cultural, social, and economic well-being, with 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs in the knowledge economy requiring some postsecondary education. While a college graduate can expect to earn, on average, approximately $1 million more over the course of his or her working life than those with a high school diploma, most students and their families can expect to pay more on average for college than they did just a year ago. Many are concerned that the increases in the cost of college may be discouraging large numbers of individuals, particularly minority and low-income individuals, from pursuing higher education. The topic of college affordability continues to be an issue of great concern. Various policymakers, national associations, and philanthropic foundations have documented the growth in college tuition and its potentially adverse effects on access to higher education and rates of degree completion. Recent years have witnessed the introduction of many federal-, state-, and institution-level initiatives aimed at curbing tuition increases, yet tuition continues to rise. Congress asked GAO to provide information on trends in higher education enrollments, tuition and fees, and institutional expenditures on education- related services that students receive by addressing the following questions: (1) What have been the patterns in college enrollment over the past decade and do these patterns differ by race?; (2) What have been the patterns in the types of schools students attend and do these patterns differ by race?; (3) How much have tuition and fees increased over the past decade across different types of higher education institutions?; and (4) To what extent have increases in tuition and fees been associated with increases in spending by institutions on education? This report presents the following findings: (1) More students are enrolling in college than ever before, and an increasingly larger percentage of all students are minorities; (2) While the types of schools in which students enroll have largely remained stable, the distribution of enrollment has shifted for some minority groups; (3) Although average tuition increased for all institution types, the smallest tuition increases occurred at the types of institutions that enroll the largest proportion of college students; and (4) Between the 2000-2001 and 2005-2006 school years, increases in average tuition were matched or exceeded by increases in average institutional spending on education at private institutions, but not at public institutions. This analysis looks at various trends, the majority of which span periods between the 1995-1996 and 2006-2007 school years. Reported trends in tuition and fees and institutional expenditures on education are weighted by undergraduate enrollment. (Contains 5 figures and 6 tables.)
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site: http://www.gao/gov
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A