MA State Colleges and Universities’ Tuition Among Highest in US
Saturday, October 26, 2013
The highest in-state tuition average for public four-year institutions is New Hampshire at $14,665; the lowest is Wyoming at $4,404.
See New England States Aid and Tuition Comparisons BELOW
While Massachusetts ranked 11th for tuition prices, it ranked 33rd for state grant aid per full-time equivalent undergraduate student at $280 per student, below the national average of $670.
Massachusetts ranked 27th for state grant expenditures as a percentage of total state support for higher education at 9%, below the national average of 13%.
Martha Savery, Director of Public Affairs at the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), told GoLocal, "MEFA has been working with families for over 30 years and over that time we have seen concerns over student loan debt take on a higher level of awareness than ever before."
"When we talk with families (and we talk to about 20,000 families a year!) about the college planning and financing process we always encourage them to consider, total cost, financial aid awarded as well as the total time of enrollment, choice of major and financing options. Families should be informed consumers and wise borrowers when considering student loan debt and the college affordability question."
Board Behind Data
The report continued, "As a result, the net price students actually pay for college — after accounting for grant aid and tax breaks — is rising even though the rapid increase in the published price for college has begun to slow."
The reports released this week show the 2.9% increase in published tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year colleges from 2012-13 to 2013-14 is the smallest one-year increase since 1975-76. After adjusting for inflation, the increase is 0.9%, the lowest inflation-adjusted increase since 2000-01.
The report also states there was a 3.8% increase in private nonprofit four-year college tuition,, and 3.5% increase for public two-year colleges.
However, the reports show that between 2007-08 and 2010-11, the net prices were held down by large increases in grant aid and tax benefits, particularly from the federal government, even though published prices were increasing rapidly over the same period -- but it goes on to state that between 2010-11 and 2012-13, federal grant aid declined. While grants per student from other sources increased, net prices rose at a time when family incomes have not recovered.
College admissions expert Cristiana Quinn told GoLocal that she thought that recent media reports on college debt have made an impact on families.
"For the first time, I saw families seriously look at value vs. perceived prestige. For instance, I had a top student choose the UVM Honors Program and coming out with no debt, over BC, George Washington and several other big names. At those schools, she would have been looking at $80-$100K in loans. The Honors Program at UVM offered her a unique opportunity to do research and be mentored by top professors with many students going on to receive full rides for grad school. It was a win-win as far as she was concerned, and today she is delighted with her choice," said Quinn.
"In our outreach work with families, we encourage all families to apply for financial assistance and to take advantage of the federal financial aid system. The focus of MEFA’s work with families, is to provide them the tools they need to navigate what for many is an overwhelming process. We strongly believe that if we can work with families and empower them with information, in many cases that will be the deciding factor for them to choose to apply for admission and make a plan for college," said MEFA's Savery.
Savery continued, "We do see families who consider opting out of the college process simply because they feel they cannot afford it (looking at the sticker price) and for those families we encourage them to file for admission and financial aid, and after seeing what type of aid package they receive, then make the decision. We work hard to reach those families."
"When a student puts together their list of potential colleges, a financially safe school should be on their list; a school that they know they can afford if other options are not open to them. When it comes time to make the decision of where to attend, we are seeing more families that are focusing on the affordability factor than ever before," said Savery.
Related Slideshow: College Board Reports 2013 - New England States by the Data
Reports released by the College Board, "Trends in College Pricing 2013," and "Trends in Student Aid 2013", included a number of national data points regarding college affordability. Here, see how the New Engand states stacked up agains each other.
Student Grant Aid
In 2011-12, state grant aid per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student ranged from under $200 (in 2012 dollars) in 12 states to over $1,000 in 10 states.
Rhode Island $200
New Hampshire: 0
US average $670
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