A UCLA survey suggests that college freshman are growing more concerned with education costs than in previous years. According to Carla Riviera’s report, the survey was given tomore than 165,000 college students at 234 colleges and universities.
Up 15 percentage points sine 2004, 46% of those surveyed said that their educational costs were a very important factor in the choice they would make for college enrollment. A further 49% indicated that the college’s financial aid package played a crucial role in their choice of institution. This percentage is up from 34% in 2004.
“‘Costs and financial aid are becoming more important and salient to students’ decisions in part due to increased tuition,’ said Kevin Eagan, interim director of UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program, which prepares the survey. ‘Tuition has increased particularly at public institutions.’”
Rising tuition and education costs are key factors as to why so many students are worried about funding their college education. Rivera states the California State University saw a ninety one percent increase in tuition and the University of California witnessed a seventy four percent increase, both from 2006.
Because of growing tuition costs, some students are no longer enrolling at their first choice university, even if they were admitted, suggests a CBS Los Angeles report. Seventy five percent of the UCLA survey takers were admitted into their first choice, but due to financial concerns, only57% actually enrolled, the lowest percentage since 1974. Forty percent of these who did not enroll in their first choice college stated that it was because it was not financially possible.
Many college administrators feel that federal and state grants are not doing enough to keep up with growing college costs. While the cost of tuition rises, the reward amount for grants remains the same.
“But overall, financial aid from the federal government, states, and institutions is just not keeping up with needs, resulting in higher debt burdens, says Jessica Thompson, a senior policy analyst in the Washington office of the Institute for College Access and Success.”
Because of this, college freshman are working longer hours, some more than 20 a week, to help pay for college. Fewer and fewer students are willing to weigh down their families with the financial load of a college tuition and with all the news reports covering student debt, fewer students are looking into student loans as a viable option.