America’s colleges and universities are quietly shifting the burden of their big tuition increases onto low-income students, while many higher-income families are seeing their college costs rise more slowly, or even fall, an analysis of federal data shows. It’s a trend financial-aid experts and some university administrators worry will further widen the gap between the nation’s rich and poor as college degrees—especially four-year ones—drift beyond the economic reach of growing numbers of students…. In fact, lower-income and working-class students at private colleges and universities have seen the amount they pay, after grants and scholarships, increase faster than the amount their middle- and upper-income classmates pay, according to an analysis of data that institutions are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education. …. Wealthier students still pay more for college educations, on average. But, to help colleges maintain enrollment numbers, keep revenue rolling in, and raise standings in annual rankings, these students are getting billions of dollars in discounts and institutional financial aid that many critics say should go instead to their lower-income classmates. …
Source: The Hechinger Report, the Education Writers Association, Omaha World-Herald and the Dallas Morning News, 2014
Don’t let the sticker price fool you. This tool shows what students really pay for college, based on their family income. We’ve got trends, too. Search from more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States.
How some families pay less for college than others
Source: Holly K. Hacker, The Hechinger Report, the Education Writers Association, and the Dallas Morning News, March 9, 2014
College, federal financial aid increasingly benefits the rich
Source: Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report, the Education Writers Association, and the Dallas Morning News, March 9, 2014