More on the Higher Education Bubble

Why do college costs continue to go up? It’s really quite simple, government subsidies continue to rise and have shielded college students and their parents from the real increase in college costs. As Joan Garret reports on 2009 higher education trends from the College Board in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The surging sticker price of higher education has gotten a lot of attention, but what most people don’t know is that the average student is paying less for their college education than they were five years ago, according to an annual report on college pricing.

The average published tuition cost at private and public colleges has risen on average between 15 percent to 20 percent since 2004, according to a report by the College Board, which runs the PSAT, SAT and AP programs.

Yet, students’ total costs for college were actually $400 less per year at public colleges and $1,100 less at private colleges than in the same timeframe, the report says.

State and federal grants are cushioning North Georgia and Tennessee students from the financial impact of rising tuition costs, and, after all the checks are cut, some students are making money by attending college, officials said.

“There is plenty of money out there,” said Samantha Cox, a UTC student who uses grants and scholarships to pay for her schooling. “Most people are seeing that sticker price, but really you aren’t paying that. … People are worried about tuitions going up but, in reality, we are getting money to go to school.”