Tuition Hike at Private Colleges is the Lowest in Years

Posted by: Alison Damast on July 8, 2009

With an eye towards the pinched finances of many families, private colleges and universities are trying to make the cost of college as affordable as possible this year. Tuition will be going up just 4.3% this year at private institutions, the lowest tuition rate hike in nearly four decades, according to the results of a recent membership tuition survey conducted by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The increase is higher than the 3.8% rise in the 2008 Consumer Price Index, but is still good news for cash-strapped families, who over the past decade have dealt with a 6% average annual increase in tuition and fees.

“Private colleges and university budgets have been hit by dropping endowment, a reduction in charitable giving, and growing student financial need,” says NAICU President David Warren, in a press release. “Nevertheless they have made extraordinary efforts to keep students’ out-of-pocket costs as low as possible while protecting academic quality.”

The tempered tuition hike is one of just a number of measures private colleges will be taking next year to help students and families. Many have increased the financial aid they dole out to students, with institutional student aid budgets rising 9% for the upcoming school year, according to NAICU. Other affordability measures include: public university tuition matches; job and four-year graduation guarantees; programs that replace loans with grants and tuition freezes and cuts in campus budget areas.

Readers, have you been hit by tuition hikes at your school? How has your school sought to make the cost of college more affordable?

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