Fear of rising college tuition is trumping fear of the stock market, reports the Los Angeles Times. Contributions to government-sponsored college-savings programs are rising sharply after sinking during the recession. The amount of money flowing into the programs, known as 529 plans, has surged 75% in the last two years but remains well below its 2006 peak, according to a recent study……Read More
Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eCampus News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Public universities relying more on tuition than state money
For bargain-hunting families, state colleges and universities, supported by tax money, have long been a haven from the high cost of private education. But tuition bargains are fading as the nation’s public universities undergo a profound shift, accelerated by the recession. In most states, it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget, the New York Times reports. The shift has been an unwelcome surprise to Ashley Murphy, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. When she and her twin sister, Allison, picked their colleges two years ago, costs were definitely an issue, since they are putting themselves through college……Read More
Are textbooks a ‘scam’? Students think so
Buying pricey textbooks has never been a back-to-school highlight for college students, but according to a survey released Aug. 12, students rank textbooks among their leading wastes of money and the “biggest scam” in higher education.
Disdain for the costliness of textbooks was just one of the many financial worries revealed in a survey of college students conducted by online textbook rental company BookRenter, which launched in 2008 and serves about 5,000 college campuses with a library of 3 million textbooks.
The survey results echo a sentiment expressed by many student activists in recent years as textbook prices have soared and web-based book rental web sites have attracted millions of customers with texts often marked down by more than half the retail cost.…Read More
More Americans skeptical of higher education
An increasing percentage of Americans believe colleges and universities prioritize profit margin over educational quality—a claim educators refute as misguided and unfair, especially during the current economic downturn.
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, along with Public Agenda, released a report Feb. 17 that highlights respondents’ discontent with the rising costs of college education. The survey, titled, “Squeeze Play 2010: Continued Public Anxiety on Cost, Harsher Judgments on How Colleges are Run,” shows that six out of 10 Americans now say “colleges today operate more like a business,” taking focus away from academics.
In 2008, 55 percent of respondents said universities were more concerned about the bottom line, an increase from 52 percent in 2007.…Read More
Higher Education: Four-year education … Is it really necessary?
As costs rise, the reality of paying for an education looms larger for students and parents, changing their approach to college searches and their perception of the college experience, high school counselors say in a report by The Saratogian. Increasingly, the decision of whether to opt for a two- or four-year college is going hand in hand with the cost. Kathy Kennedy, Saratoga Springs High School’s guidance department director and a counselor for 25 years, said students and parents today are more price-tag conscious and savvy. “They’re definitely more sophisticated about the price,” Kennedy said. Laurel Logan-King, Ballston Spa High School coordinator for careers and counseling, said she sees costs increasingly playing an overriding role as students and parents try to map out the steps following graduation. “When the rubber meets the road, they’re pretty good with the decision-making,” Logan-King said. Finances are “the number one decision between the kids and their families.” As a result, more families are considering community colleges. When deciding between pursuing a two-year or four-year degree, local experts at high schools and in higher education are hard-pressed to tell students that one is better than the other. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.…Read More