New England Colleges See Double-Digit Rise in Tuition & Fees
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
“These trends are putting pressure on institutions and systems to find creative solutions to ensure that college is affordable for students, maintain enrollment and meet the needs of regional employers, who increasingly demand workers with postsecondary credentials,” said NEBHE.
The report, which is published annually, takes an in-depth look at the tuition and required fees published by public two- and four-year postsecondary institutions across New England.
In Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced in his 2018 State of the Commonwealth Address that MA will increase college scholarship funding by $7 million so that the state's lowest-income community college students with an unmet financial need can have the remaining balance of their tuition and fees fully covered.
Connecticut passed legislation during its 2018 session to allow undocumented students who attend one of its public colleges and universities the opportunity to qualify for the state's financial aid. Previously, these students were not granted access to the financial aid system by state law but had been offered in-state tuition.
The University of Maine System launched a promise initiative in which, beginning in fall 2018, first-year Maine students who qualify for a federal Pell Grant are able to attend the University of Maine campuses at Presque Isle, Fort Kent, Augusta, and Machias free of having to pay any out-of-pocket tuition and fees.
Beneficiaries of the initiative must commit to take a minimum of 30 credit hours each academic year and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. As of October 2018, the initiative has resulted in a 2.5% increase in enrollment at these institutions over the previous year.
Among other key findings in the NEBHE report:
- From 2015 to 2016, enrollment at New England's public colleges and universities declined by 1.8%, or 8,036 fewer undergraduates - a trend that is expected to continue in years to come due to a projected 14% decline in the number of new high school graduates in New England by 2032.
- On average, in 2017-18, the federal Pell Grant covers approximately 49% of tuition and fees at four-year institutions for students in the lowest income quintile ($0-$30,000 annual household income).
- Since 2012-13, increases in tuition and fees at New England's two-year colleges (16%) and four-year institutions (10%) have outpaced increases in the maximum Pell Grant (6.25%), leaving a widening gap for low- and moderate-income families to offset with additional aid and/or family resources.
Related Slideshow: New England College Rankings - U.S. News & World Report 2019
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