The data in The College Board’s Trend in College Pricing 2013 and Trends in Student Aid 2013 should be encouraging news to students and families throughout the country—in-state tuition and fees at public, 4-year colleges and universities grew at the slowest rate in over 30 years in 2013-14. This is concrete evidence of the efforts of state colleges and universities to control costs and continue to provide affordable, high quality college opportunities despite sizeable budget cuts by the states.
Despite the relatively small tuition hike, however, the data do indicate that the troubling trend of state disinvestment in public higher education continues unabated throughout the country. According to Trends, per-student state funding for public colleges and universities dropped nearly 30 percent in the last five years. Continued erosion of state support threatens public colleges’ ability to keep college within reach for low- and middle-income families and weaken institutional efforts to drive community and state economic growth.
AASCU and its members remain committed to working with elected officials and other stakeholders to find solutions to keep college opportunities affordable for the 3.9 million students currently attending AASCU-member campuses while ensuring that public higher education remains a common good enjoyed by students and communities in the years ahead.
AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.