Why is the cost of college tuition increasing every year?

Many students who attend college today have been subjected to high pricing from tuition, fees, and other expenses, part of a long series throughout higher education institutions.

Lauren Porter, an assistant director of financial aid at SUNY Oswego, says that for New York state residents, a full caseload of classes would cost $3,535 in tuition fees.

“So that’s if you’re going to be in 12 credit hours or more, if you’re in less credit hours they’ll reduce tuition as well,” Porter said. “And then you’d have about $849 for fees that are also going to go along with that tuition.”

For those living outside of New York state, Porter says that they’re looking at $8,490 for tuition expenses.

A report from the U.S. News & World Report shows the average cost of tuition and fees in its ranked college lists ranges above tens of thousands of dollars.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

“Rising tuition has been a major issue for a while,” said John Kane, a professor in the Economics Department at SUNY Oswego. “The cost of college has been rising faster than prices in general for decades.”

Kane also says that there’s a few reasons why tuition increases for college students.

“One is that there’s been an increase in student services, in student support services and so forth,” Kane said. “Another is an increase in counseling services and other things that have been steadily rising as a share of expenditures.”

Private schools on average set their tuition rate at $39,723, while public institutions are listed at $22,953 for out-of-state students. People attending public schools in-state are set at $10,423 for tuition.

The expenses have affected students in both public and private higher education schools, and some alumni are still paying off debt despite not having attended for years.

Kane said that increasing costs are also due to additions to administrations throughout the country.

“Also nationwide, administrative expenses have been going up as more and more administrations have been added as a share of the employee group and administrators cost more than faculty,” Kane said. “One thing that has been offsetting that is that more and more faculty are adjuncts now.”

The Biden administration recently developed a plan to relieve student debt for those who have taken money out for student loans.

The plan would provide loan forgiveness for millions of borrowers across the country, overall wiping out billions of dollars in debt.

The plan has recently faced some challenges by politicians over economic concerns. It was also blocked in two federal courts over the last year, after various states sued to block it from being released.

Conversations emerged in Washington D.C. over potential effects that the bill may have on the economy.

Kane connected wage growth to production within the economy.

“Well throughout the economy, wages grow as production in the economy rises,” Kane said. “The more we produce, the more incomes on average we have because ultimately our ability to consume goods is tied to the amount that people produce.”

Jennie Hoffman, the senior associate director of Financial Aid at SUNY Oswego, says advances with classroom technology may come along as expenses to students.

“Certainly we had the, you know we had the lab classrooms when I was in school back in the early 2000s,” Hoffman said. “But there are just so many more advances, I think when it comes to technology and classroom technology that I think that it certainly could make a difference you know as we’re updating our spaces with more technology and obviously that comes along with expenses that might be passed along to the student.”

Hoffman also said that the institution as a whole is absorbing increased tuition charges.

“Yeah so I think when we’re talking about tuition and how the campus landscapes are changing with the types of increased tuition, that is likely not something that student financial aid can cover right, because those are charges that the institution is absorbing as a whole,” Hoffman said.

Students can also utilize scholarships and other means of financial aid outside of SUNY Oswego in order to keep in pace with classes.

Hoffman says technology may be needed to keep students successful in academics.

“We can include that technology that you need to be successful in your academic pursuits as part of your cost of attendance,” Hoffman said. “And then you know if you have scholarship or grant funds that can cover those types of technology, you can, you know, and the rest of your billable expenses are covered, you could receive a refund to help with, for example, the purchase of a laptop.”

A report from the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority shows that the future of tuition for college students are expected to increase over the next four years. The average cost for a 2022-23 national public four-year in-state college is $23,250.

Source: Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority

The current cost of college tuition for a national public four-year for an in-state resident is $23,948. For out-of-state residents for the same type, it’s set at $41,767.

The cost of college tuition is set to increase throughout the near future.